As I investigated the Scriptures on the subject of commercial fishing in the Gospels, several things became apparent. There are several passages that talk about fishing:
- Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-19 Jesus calls the four disciples who are fishermen and tells them he will make them fishers of men.
- Luke 5:1-11 Jesus tells the disciples who had fished all night but caught nothing to put down their nets again into the deep and they catch two boatloads of fish
- John 21:3-11 After Jesus' resurrection, seven of the disciples go fishing. Again Jesus tells them where to cast their nets and they catch 153 large fish
- Matthew 17: 24-27 Peter uses a rod and line to catch a fish that has money for the temple tax in its mouth.
There is obviously more than one way the disciples are fishing. In the Luke example, they were in a boat and let down their nets. In the John example, they throw out their nets. In the Matthew and Mark examples they were fishing from the shore. Further investigation reveals that although in English the word net is used in every example, in the Greek, different words are used signifying different types of nets. For example, in the Matthew and Mark examples a specific purse net is described.
Commercial fisherman (which is what the disciples were) would have understood that you use different kinds of nets depending on the circumstances and the kind of fish you want to catch.
So in terms of the harvest where we are fishers of men, there may be different ways that we approach "catching fish." What may work in other nations may not be best here in the West
There is one more passage. This comes in Matthew 13 where Jesus tells a parable. The kingdom of heaven is like a fishing net (literally a dragnet or seine which is a type of net used to catch large numbers of fish) let down into the water…
The question I am pondering these days is, "How do we 'let the kingdom of heaven' down into the community around us? Especially here in the West where people are jaded and inoculated against the Gospel. What kind of fishing net will catch a multitiude of fish?
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4 replies on “Commercial fishing (part 2)”
YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FISHING AND NETS USED. A RECENT DREAM FROM THE LORD IN ANSWER TO MY INQUIRY SUGGESTED “WE FISH WHERE THERE ARE FISHES”. NOT JUST DROP OUR NET ANYWHERE, BUT WHERE PEOPLE ARE. FISHERMEN LOOK FOR “BANKS” TO FISH OR SPECIAL GROUNDS WHERE THE FISH ARE GATHERED, EVEN USING GPS SYSTEMS TO IDENTIFY THE FISHING GROUNDS. THE BOOK OF JOB 29:7-10 SUGGESTS AREAS WHERE WE CAN DROP OUR NETS. GOOD ARTICLE FRIEND.
We need a practical view of the way Jesus fished. The net that he used has been shown to bring in great loads of fish. Usually healing did the job. The problem with healing is the same problem as with church. It can only produce a limited catch if its limited in its application. Keep it in the church building, and it only catches church goers. Keep it in the hands of a select few, and it only reaches a few.
The net can be big, and it can be broad. If we let Jesus do what he has always wanted to do, and if we remember that he is both in and with us by the Holy Spirit, we can cast that net out everywhere, and we can bring in the boatload.
Bill Johnson (www.bjm.org) told a story recently of a person who came to his church (it isn’t ordinary church) and asked to go out with them on a “mall outreach”… but Bill had to say, “what mall outreach”, cause they don’t have one… The person replied that he had heard about what happens when they go to the mall and pray for people there. Bill said, “We don’t have a mall outreach. We just have people who shop.”.. That is the way it should be. People in daily lives, ears open, hearts sensitive to the needs of others, who know their God enough to discern that he wants to do good in the midst of them. That is a big net to cast.
I believe there is only one way to fish.
The same way Christ did, as little children he led them. What attracts little children?
Sincere love and concern for their well being, no sheep counting until they are all in the fold and this dark night is over. He met their physical needs in what ever pasture he was in or on whatever beach he crossed, nutured their desire to be recognized and shared the love of his Father in heaven with them. Cast your net far and wide wherever he calls you to and however he directs you. The gifts of his spirit are many and are as varied as the lively stones he has given them to.
Noah built a boat, and preached. We are called to help the spirit of Christ build a city a house for him and his Father to occupy, the Zion of God. Reveal to them the love of the Father and his Son, “this is life eternal that they may know the the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent” How can they know Him if we don’t reveal his love just as Christ revealed the love of his Father. “Christ in us the hope of Glory” ” as of the only begotten of the Father”.
Go and gather them stones.
Like your thoughts, great subject an example of the simplicity of the gospel, just go and fish.
“How do we let the kingdom of heaven’ down into the community around us? I don’t know where in scripture this thought come from? Your responcibility is making sure you are being led by the Spirit. If He wants you sharing Christ, He will lead. That phrase sounds like that which comes from the compromised church. Being worldly helps no one, we are to seperate walking in Him….that’s ALL!