I’ve always wondered why Jesus used the term “fishers of men.” I mean, I get the picture of it. A person throwing out bait on a fishing pole, attracting fish with bait. But there has to be something more involved. Besides, when He said this, the guys were net fishing. Not the same. Not too much bait involved with a net.
So it can’t be about attraction with bait. Right? I mean what are we fishing with? Are we trying to attract folks with the gospel? Are we even using the true bait? Or is bait even needed? Jesus tells the leaders of the day, that no one comes to him unless God draws them, so are we saying God uses bait?
Here’s what I think about the whole fishing thing. Seems to me, that when you go fishing, you need to have a plan for what to do with the fish…if you catch them. You could throw them back, but if we stick with the idea, then there has to be some sort of strategy.
Fish won’t keep long when they’re caught. You need fresh water or ice so they’ll keep till you get em back to shore. You should clean them as soon as possible as to make it ok eat them. That’s the point really, to use them for sustenance. They taste good. and They’re is sport involved. Or…you can just go to the store and buy fish.
I believe Jesus uses the picture of fishing for a couple reasons. The guys would get it…at least to some degree. They understood fishing with nets, so they would get the basic thought. But these guys would also get the idea of preserving what they caught to keep spoil from setting in. This didn’t mean they had coolers filled with ice, it meant salt would be used to preserve the catch. I mean have you smelled bad fish?
Fishing for men is no less strategic. The initial catch brings a sense of satisfaction, but if somethings is not done soon, the catch can be left to spoil and be no good to anyone. When discipleship does not accompany evangelism as part of the whole picture, it leaves people out to struggle for air, for direction, and even for hope. Its easy to return to the water. It’s where life was, they know it. Comfortable.
Salt. The first century fisherman would understand its purpose to be as important the nets. Discipleship. Long and short term concerns need to be able to be addressed before the cast is made. It’s not about bait, or attraction, but Following through with what God is already doing.
Go fishing. Keep some salt with ya. Preserve the catch.