Summary: A sermon examining the qualities of true fishers of men.
FISHING WITH JESUS
A young boy went fishing with a cane pole in a stream, soon a few teenagers arrived with nice rods & reels and expensive lures. Those boys began to laugh and play as they cast their lines and reeled them in over and over again; after a couple of hours they had not caught a single fish. However, the little boy patiently watched the tip of his pole and periodically he would catch a fish. One of the teenagers yelled over to where he was and said "how are you catching all these fish? We have reels and lures and we haven't had a bite! " He replied "well, it could be because I am fishing for fish and you are fishing for fun."
We have been called to fish for souls, but sometimes we have a tendency to focus more on the methods than the mission.
Understand that: you may look like a fisherman, you may talk like a fisherman, you may have spent much time studying how to fish, you may have all the best fishing equipment, you may possess the perfect kind of bait, and you may even hang out where the fish are, but if you never cast your line into the water you will not catch any fish! Let me explain that a little clearer: You may look like a soul-winner, you may talk like a soul-winner, you may have studied numerous methods of evangelism, you may have a Bible and an outline of the Roman Road, you may spend your time around lost people, but if you never share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them, they will not be converted.
Jesus has called those who follow Him to be "fishers of men". This was not a call that was exclusive to the 12 Disciples. If you belong to Jesus He wants you to reach people with the Gospel. Our selected text shows us how we can be successful in this venture. Join me in Luke 5:1-11 as we consider the thought "Fishing With Jesus".
One day Jesus was preaching on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. There was a large crowd that had assembled to listen to the Word of God. He noticed two boats near the edge of the water; These boats were empty because the fishermen were out washing their nets after a long night of fishing. Jesus ascended one of the boats that belonged to a man named Simon. Jesus asked Simon to push the boat into the water and away from the shore. He used that boat as a makeshift pulpit and preached to the people who were gathered. When He finished the message, Jesus told Simon that if he would go out into the deeper water and let down his nets he would catch many fish.
Simon said, “we worked hard all night long and didn't catch anything. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” Simon listened and obeyed and they caught so many fish that the nets began to break. He and Andrew called out to James and John who were in the other boat and asked them for help. When it was all said and done both fishing boats were so full that they were on the verge of sinking. After this, Simon was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught and he fell on his knees before Jesus and said, “Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.”
Andrew, James and John were amazed as well. Jesus sought to calm their fears and said "Don't be afraid". Then He revealed something that would have an impact on the rest of their lives. He told them that from that point forward they would spend their lives fishing for people. When the boats reached the shore, they left everything behind and followed Jesus. The actions of these men during this fishing excursion illustrate how we can be successful while fishing with Jesus. There are a few things that are required of those who would set out to fish for men.
- Notice first of all that:
I. FISHING WITH JESUS REQUIRES PARTICIPATION
Peter had fished all night with no success. Before he would catch anything he had to get in the boat with Jesus. Not only that, he had to follow Jesus' instructions in order to be successful. Jesus was doing a great work in Simon's life. He began by instructing him to "thrust out a little" from the shore. Then when He knew that Peter was ready, Jesus commanded him to launch out into the deep.
Jesus was a carpenter, Simon was a professional fisherman. Simon knew that you did not go fishing in the Sea of Galilee in the daytime, nor did you go into the deep water. He knew from personal experience that it was best to fish at night and in the shallow water. But Peter had faith and said “Nevertheless, at thy word I will let down the net” (v5). Because Peter obeyed Jesus, he would soon witness a great miracle. This is often referred to as the "miracle of the draught of fish".