The other day I was talking to a co-worker, I don’t remember the context of the conversation, but she said something that I’m still pondering, “We’re called to be fishers of men, not hunters of men.” For the sake of drawing spiritual parallels let’s stick with the simplest form of fishing (with a pole) and hunting (with a gun).
From this perspective let’s consider…
Fish have a choice – to take the bait or not take the bait. Animals that are hunted, on the other hand, don’t have a choice. They are stalked or pursued and then shot. If they find themselves in the wrong place at just the right time it can be deadly. Another point to consider is that both fishing and hunting have strategies for attracting prey.
Fishermen use live bait and lures to imitate the various types of food different species of fish consume. Fishermen can also use technology to locate the fish. Hunters use camouflage and tree stands to hide themselves and stalk their prey. They also use sounds, like deer or duck calls, to simulate and attract the type of animals they are hunting. Notice the goal of fishing and hunting is the same…to catch something…but the means for doing so are very different.
In Matthew 4:19 Jesus invites the disciples to: “Come, follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men”. Why did He use the analogy “fishers of men”?
Here are my revelations…
– When we “fish” for people we let them choose to if they want to take the bait, meaning accept Jesus
– Just like bait imitates real fish food, our lives are the bait when fishing for men and should imitate Jesus
– Fishing requires looking for fish…fishing for men requires going to where they are
– Spiritual hunting forces beliefs on to others
– Spiritual hunting sounds like the real deal, but is a false version of truth
– Spiritual hunting is deceptive and camouflages itself as love and hides its true agenda
Jesus was purposeful in everything He did and said. I believe He used fishing as an analogy on purpose. It was showing us the example of how to reach people. Our lives are the hook and Jesus is the bait. Our lives are the vessels that carry the bait of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control (see Galatians 5:22). This “bait” is very attractive in a world that produces a lot of “junk food”. The world may taste good, but always fails to nourish. Jesus is enough. His love is attractive and will draw people to Himself.
It’s time to go fishing….