In the book of Luke chapter 5:10 Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t
be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”
I am not much of a fisherman to say the least. I have on occasion gone
out with my friends and tried to fish. We would sit on the pontoon boat
with the radio playing, telling jokes and laughing throwing one another
off the boat and just had a good time but we never seem to catch any fish
for some reason. I never could really understand why?
People have said that we scared the fish off but I don’t know why
three fellows weighing about 200 pounds each crashing into the water would
scare the fish. If anything the people on the boat should be scared of
the ensuing wake cause by the immersion.
No, I believe it has something to do with me. A few weeks back I broke
down and went fishing with my father-in-law and brother-in-law. We all
stayed in the boat and I still didn’t catch anything. Amy’s
dad, in the aft section of the vessel, would yank them up one after
another. Her brother even caught a couple but me nary a one. I cast my
line like a pro. Why I even tenderized the bait by accidentally casting
it up against the damn’s concrete wall once. No, a fisherman
But thankfully God has not called me to be a fisherman but to be a fisher
of MEN! In the text today we find Jesus calling His first disciples.
This event is recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Each time we hear Jesus
say, “follow me and I will make you fishers of men” or, as in
Luke, He says “Now you will catch men”.
Although I don’t know much about fishing I know three necessities of
fishing for men we can see from this text.
I. We Must Bait the Hook
Before we could begin fishing that day we had to have something to entice
the fish to bite the hook. So Amy’s dad threw out the net a few
times and before long we had plenty of live bait to bait our hooks with.
Before the disciples could ever be successful fishers of men Jesus first
had to hook them and bring them into the boat. And though it appeared to
be an easy task for Jesus, for we read they immediately dropped their nets
and followed, we need to see that Jesus did have some tempting bait. The
disciples were uncertain, fearful, and tired. Even Jesus had to bait the
hook. He did that first by:
A. Giving Them Something to Gain Their Interest.
1. Jesus did this by going to where they were. Look at vs 1-3.
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people
crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the
water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were
washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to
Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and
taught the people from the boat.
If you want some to take an interest in you then your going to have to
show interest in them and their way of life. The world may classify
people and jobs from the lowly to the prestigious. But all are precious
in the sight of God. Jesus doesn’t come to people because of who
they are or because of their work He comes to them because of who He is
and because of His work. There are many people whose only contact with a
Christian is through their work because they don’t go to church and
more than likely Christians don’t come to their homes. Because
these fishermen were tough and rugged outdoorsmen they may have felt
uncomfortable going to the synagogue.
2. Jesus Gained Their Interest When He Met Their Needs. Read verse 4-6.
When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep
water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered,
“Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught
anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When
they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets
began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come
and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began
These verses are a good example of receiving blessings from being
obedient. The disciples were going to receive an immediate blessing from
being obedient. But they almost missed out. Look at what Simon said in
verse 5, “We’ve worked hard all night”. That is still