Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Fishers of Men
Our church emblem is a fisherman with a net. It is appropriate as we are a seaside village, but more than that it is a definitive symbol of the church. Perhaps as seminal are the symbols of the sower and the harvester. All peoples of the world understand these images. These are images of God the Father collecting what has been lost or stolen from Him.
WHY DO WE FISH?
A while back I had the privilege of meeting a man who under great difficulties remained calm, patient and gracious. He had travelled 1,400 km to fetch for someone else. He loaded very heavy equipment, for five hours, while being abused over the cell phone. He got back into his vehicle and drove back. Not once did he lose it. I found out to my great joy that it was THE LOVE OF CHRIST that dwelt richly in his heart. The one great reason we introduce people to Christ is so that he can place his love in their hearts. John Lennon was right when he sang, "All we need is love". Pity he did not know the source of that love. Jesus makes it plain when he says; "By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34)
THE BIG FISH STORY
Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:17 and Luke 5:10 recount Jesus' employment offer to some of the twelve; "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
This "come, follow" was in-service training. They would look, learn and then do. Teach - heal - teach - heal - teach - drive out a demon - teach - feed people - die.
Note that in all situations there was an immediate response - had they thought about it they might never have followed.
Many think that only some can catch men. It happened that they were fishermen and Jesus uses that setting. Had they been car sales men he might have said, "Come follow me and I will make your sales men for God." The issue is that Jesus calls us from wherever we are. Whatever you do, do it unto the Lord.
Some leave everything, but others like the Samaritan woman at the well (John. 4:1-42) go back to their lives.
"Then leaving her water jar the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 'Come, see the man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ' ... Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony."
These was still a leaving behind. She leaves her water jar. Her preoccupation is now with telling others about the forgiveness she has received.
HOW DO WE CATCH FISH?
These ideas are motivated by a master fisherman whose eyes light up when he speaks about fish:
Be passionate about fishing for men. You're showing them eternal life!!
Have the heart of The Fisherman - the heart of Love.
Have the right equipment - Bible knowledge is what the Spirit uses.
Use the appropriate bait. The bait used determines the fish caught. Different approaches to people are right but LOVE & Holy Spirit empowered Truth and Healing is the bait for all.
Use a hook, don't just feed the fish. Unless you strike, the fish will nibble at the bait, get full, but not get caught. Bait is Love - the hook is Jesus.
Go to where the fish are. Fishing for men is done anywhere, but Jesus might be sending you to catch a certain type.
DON'T BE AFRAID
Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid - from now on you will catch men." So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:10,11)
Jesus is our constant instructor. Even the most learned theologians are as useless at catching men without the constant presence and power of the Holy Spirit. He is with you.
THAT'S NOT BAIT, THAT'S SUPPER
Uncle Les Reid told of using a 3 kg Elf to catch a 22 kg Garrick. Sometimes you have to make big sacrifices for the big catch.
Jesus says; "I will make you" - just go with Him every day!
Date Added: 2010-01-13
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