Close this search box.

Are you a Fisherman or A Fisher of Men?


When you think of a Fisherman, does a rough and rowdy sort come to mind? I used to think of men that cuss like sailors and sing a shanty as they drink. They spend their days casting nets and comparing their catch of the day. But today, I see that fishing takes great patience and there are times nothing will bite. It is a quiet time, a time for meditation and teaching lessons. In the Bible, Simon is a particular fisherman mentioned who later becomes known as the Apostle Peter.


In Luke 5 a group of fishermen are introduced, Jesus got into the fisherman Simon’s boat and was teaching a crowd from the vessel when he told the angler to cast his net. Simon was skeptical because he had already been fishing all night to no avail with his fellow fishers, but he obeyed. It was in this moment in Luke 5:6-8 — “And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’ The eyes of the fishermen were opened to the Lord. Simon felt convicted of his doubt and frustration from before and did not feel worthy of being in the presence of Jesus. But Jesus reassured him in Luke 5:9-11 — “For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.’ So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.”


To “forsake” something means to give it up and walk away. Jesus called his disciples (students) to follow their Master (teacher) and surrender all, that means all material things, all worries, and cares, even their families, and their self as told in Mark 8:34 — “When he had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, ‘Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’ “To “take up our cross” means to become a martyr for Christ, we must be willing to die for our faith. Even if our ministry does not involve that level of severity, we will still face persecution and the world will hate us as told in John 15:18-21 — “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake because they do not know Him who sent me.”


We will not be FAMOUS for doing what Jesus did. Money does not follow the prophets of God, but we gain something more valuable than all the gold in the world. In Proverbs 16:16 we learn — “How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” This wisdom (along with the Holy Spirit) is the very same we need to successfully witness to the lost sheep. There are book smarts, there is street smarts, and then there is the wisdom of God. It is defined in James 3:17 — “But this wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and hypocrisy.” With this knowledge comes acuity and discernment. How do we acquire such a treasure? In Proverbs 9:10 we learn — “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” This “fear” mentioned is not terror, it is awe which means reverential respect, this is powerful and evokes strong emotion. Emotion that will move you to bring inspirational words to action. The responsibility we share as Christians also reveals where our priorities lie.


Do you prioritize the will of God? The Lord has a plan for our life as told in Jeremiah 29:11 — “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” How do we follow this plan? Philippians 4:7-9 answers this question, — “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the peace of God will be with you.” This is only one of the many steps that should be taken, but just as sanctification is a process, once we are saved, we should learn the ways of God, and desire to have the mind of Christ.


When someone becomes a believer, it is imperative that they renew their minds through repentance. Once that is done, deliverance is necessary, but it will not be a one and done like salvation, so we should always be cleaning ourselves out and always seeking out more ways to better ourselves as we strive for perfection. (2 Corinthians 7:1) This does not mean we are literally flawless by society’s standards but that we are on a quest to be the best we can be. If we do not even try then we are hindering our own growth, and at times we will even get in the way of the blessings from the hands of God.


Some ways to sort our priorities is to consider what we devote our attention to, and our perception (views/beliefs) of things.


  • Do you view church as a building or the congregation?
  • Is church a sanctuary or a social club?
  • Does water baptism equate to salvation or is it a declaration/dedication of/to sanctification?
  • Would you rather fish for food or fish for men (lead people to Christ)?
  • Are you sitting through a church service to feed your belly or are you receiving the “children’s bread” for your spirit?
  • Is Sunday your one day of redemption or do you believe you have already been redeemed?
  • Is the Sword of Truth your weapon or are you leaning on your own understanding like a butter knife?
  • Are you humble enough to pray (without ceasing) or are you too proud to wait on the Lord?
  • Do you trust in monetary wealth, or do you believe in Jehovah Jireh (The Lord that Provides)?
  • Is family your first ministry or are you missing order in your home?
  • Do you love unconditionally, or do you put conditions and limitations on your love?
  • Do you believe by His (Jesus) stripes we are healed, or do you believe the x-rays the doctor shows you?
  • Do you ask what would Jesus do, or do you do what Jesus DID?
  • Is everyone (even the lost) God’s children or are we adopted at salvation?
  • Are Christians worms or eagles in the eyes of God?


What we focus on is what is most important to us, and if we are to be “fishers of men,” our desires need to match what God desires for us. We should want what God wants, our (free) will should match His will for our life, our minds should be Christ-centered, and we should stop asking what would Jesus do and PICK UP OUR BIBLES to read for ourselves so we know what he DID. If we are saved by the blood of Christ, then we have the same Dunamis power within us to do “greater” (more not better) works (by faith) than He did because according to 1 John 4:4 — “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, Because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”



2 Responses