The Great Fisher of Men

Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Luke v, 4.

Peter, the expert fisherman, had toiled all night in the Sea of Galilee. Strangely enough, Peter was unable to catch even a single fish that night. Early next morning, he was washing his net. His family must have been wondering, “When will the old man bring home the bacon?” That morning, Jesus stepped into Peter’s vacant boat and used it as a platform to address a large crowd that had gathered on the seashore. After Jesus had stopped teaching, he urged Peter to “launch out into the deep and let down [his] nets for a catch.”

Peter had but a brief introduction to this Rabbi who preached from his boat. While washing his net, he must have paid attention to Jesus’ words. Therefore, Peter responded: “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” Peter must have noticed that this Rabbi was no ordinary man. Why else would he let a preacher teach him where to look for fish? Yes, there are tough  times when even the likes of a professional Galilean fisherman will let a carpenter-turned-Rabbi from the hilly region of Nazareth to advise them about the best spot to cast their net for a catch. Peter’s humility to take orders from Jesus gave him success that morning as a fisherman.

Jesus too was successful in “fishing” for Peter. Peter was caught in Jesus’ net. He was blessed with a divine revelation about the divinity of the Man who knew every fish in the sea. Jesus kept each fish in the Sea of Galilee out of Peter’s net for a whole night!  He came to the seashore where Peter sat with an empty boat and dirty nets. He deliberately chose to use Peter’s boat for addressing the crowd. And when He ordered Peter to cast his net into the deep, Jesus knew the capacity of his net and his boat. Therefore, when Peter obeyed Jesus, He ordered the right number of fish into Peter’s net – just enough to fill his boat and yet keep it afloat. After experiencing this great miracle Peter turned his back on his prize catch and became a follower of Jesus, to become a fisher of men.

It’s interesting to note that Jesus “catches” people using the great nets of His Kingdom by meeting them at their point of need. If you have returned empty-handed today, pause for a moment and listen to the Master’s voice. He is concerned about your temporal needs. He will instruct you to cast your “net” at the right spot at the right time and thus meet your needs. The grand overarching theme of our lives should not be about our livelihood or about how God enabled us to succeed in our business or career or studies. When we seek God’s help in our difficult situations, we must be prepared to receive a fresh revelation about Jesus Christ. If God opens our eyes, we will see that the story of how He met our needs is nothing more than a small portion of His large canvas – the Kingdom of God.

Will you bite Jesus’ bait today and let Him make you a fisher of men?