Summary: What do we need to do in order to be a successful fisherman for Jesus?
One of the many things that I love to do is to go fishing. I think that my love for fishing came from my father. My dad and I used to go fishing all the time when I was a kid and even as an adult. My brother and dad still go fishing all of the time.
I remember going fishing with my dad’s father when I was kid. My brother and my friends used to go fishing.
I will never forget the time when I was a kid that my grandfather’s friend Albert went fishing with us. Albert got a pretty good-sized bass up to the boat and they were yelling for a net, I grabbed the net and ever so skillfully managed to knock the fish off of Albert’s line. I thought Albert was going to use me for bait that day. Fishing gets in your blood.
Today as we get back on our journey with Jesus we are going to look at Luke 5:1-11. In this passage we find the call of the first disciples to go fishing for Jesus.
The first disciples that Jesus called were fishermen by profession. Fishing was a tough way to make a living back in Jesus day. The hours were long and the work was hard.
Peter, James and John had known Jesus for about a year at this point in Jesus ministry. If you remember in John 1:35-ff, we have the first recorded encounter of Jesus with Peter, James, John and a few others.
In John 1, Jesus called these men to follow Him and they did. Peter, James, John, Philip and probably Nathanael follow Jesus for 8-10 months as He ministered in mostly Judea. After Jesus crossed back into Galilee, the disciples went back home to their fishing business for about 2-4 months when they encounter Jesus again.
During the time these men were with Jesus, they saw Jesus turn water into wine, they saw the first cleansing of the temple by Jesus and they saw what happened after Jesus spoke with the woman at the well.
At the end of this section, Jesus is going to give an invitation to leave their business and work with Him (or follow Him).
Jesus has extended that call to you and I. We are called to bring new people into the kingdom of God. The question for us is “do we want to be successful at this for Jesus, or do we just want to hope a few swim by and jump in the boat?”
If you do much fishing, you start to notice that all people are good at fishing while others are very good at it.
What is the difference between those who are good at it and those who are not? Is it all luck?
Catching fish (or people) for Jesus is the same. Some people are very good at it and most others are not. Today, I want to give you some keys that will help make you a successful fisherman for Jesus!
Let’s turn to Luke 5:1-11
One key for being a successful fisherman for Jesus is: YOU MUST BE:
I. WILLING TO WORK 1-3 READ 1-3
Look at the scene, many people are gathering around Jesus to see Him perform some miracle and to listen to His teaching. Jesus is by the lakeside at the lake of Gennesaret.
Jesus sees two boats lying on the edge of the bank. One of them belonged to Peter.
During Jesus’ day, fishing was a very hard job. Fishermen did not have the big commercial boat that we have today, they had huge nets that they would drag behind their boats. They also had smaller nets that they would swing over their heads.
These men had quit fishing to clean their nets, later we find out that they had not caught anything. Most of the fishing would take place at night. The fishermen would take torches in the boat with them to try to attract the fish, and then they would toss or drag their nets into the fish.
After a night of fishing it was time to clean the nets, this would help make the nets last longer and it was a time to repair any tears in the nets
Part of being a successful fisherman is not just showing up at the lake, you have to do some work ahead of time. You need to put in some advance work so that you know the lake. You want to study the water, the depth of the water. You want to know the terrain of the bottom of the lake if you can get that information.