Matt. 4:19 And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
The day after Parris and I came to Christ, of all things, we went fishing. We went out to the Rigolets (we didn’t have a boat) and just fished off the bank. We had no idea what we were doing, it’s not like we are fishermen, but we were about to have a strange, prophetic experience. Every time we threw the line into the water that day we caught another fish. There were people fishing in boats just off shore catching nothing. They would move a little closer, still no luck. We caught fish until we filled up our ice chest. What did we do? Of course, we cleaned the fish and took them to our new preacher fiend, Rick Phillips. This was our first offering, we were beginning our great spiritual adventure. Looking back at this scene over the years, it has given me a few laughs. It seems like Jesus loves to stand on the shore with His new disciples. I can almost hear Him say, “Throw your line over here”. That event was a prophetic picture of the calling on Parris and my life, He has called us to be fishers of men. Matthew Henry spoke of this calling, listen carefully to His words.
“What Christ intended them for; I will make you fishers of men; this alludes to their former calling. Let them be not proud of the new honour designed them, they are still but fishers; let them not be afraid of the new work cut out for them, for they have been used to fishing, and fishers they are still. It was usual with Christ to speak of spiritual and heavenly things under such allusions, and in such expressions, as took rise from common things that offered themselves to his view. David was called from feeding sheep to feed God’s Israel; and when he is a king, he is a shepherd. Ministers are fishers of men, not to destroy them, but to save them, by bringing them into another element. They must fish, not for wealth, honour, and preferment, to gain them to themselves, but for souls, to gain them to Christ. They watch for your souls, and seek not yours, but you. It is Jesus Christ that makes them so; I will make you fishers of men. It is he that qualifies men for this work, calls them to it, authorizes them in it, gives them commission to fish for souls, and wisdom to win them. Those ministers are likely to have comfort in their work, who are thus made by Jesus Christ.”
Matthew Henry spoke of ministers as fishers of men, I believe He calls all of His followers to this joyful work. Don’t get me wrong, fishing is tough work. Looking at all the guys that spend every free moment they can fishing, there must be some joy involved in it also. This is how it is in the soul-fishing business, plenty of hard work, but also, plenty of enjoyment and reward. I think we are entering into a new “fishing season” for the body of Christ. The fish may not be ‘running’ every where, but with some direction from the ‘Great Fisher of Men’, you will always catch some fish. So if anyone is looking for you, just tell them you are ‘GONE FISHIN’.