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Becoming a commercial fisherman

It may have been the salty yak milk tea, but I had a vivid
dream one night when we were in Mongolia. In the dream, I was with a small
group of people. I handed them a book saying, "This is a book on how to be
a commercial fisherman."


The clue that this was a dream with some spiritual
significance as I woke up, was the overwhelming realization that Jesus has to
tell us where to fish.

The effective of this dream on me was extraordinary. For
weeks I could not stop thinking about it. One of the first things to strike me
was that the disciples he was speaking to were commercial fishermen. When Jesus
spoke to them on the beach as they were preparing their nets with their fishing
vessels anchored close by, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of
men," they would have understood this in the context of their working lives.
As commercial fishermen, they were not interested in catching individual fish
with a hook and line, but in pulling in nets teaming with fish. Because of
their profession, they would have instinctively known that they were to
influence many people.

7 replies on “Becoming a commercial fisherman”

Excellent observation! And if I remember correctly, those “expert” fishermen came up empty-handed on more than one occassion until Jesus told them when and where to cast their nets. Great post! 🙂

How is it that I have assumed that the fish would just swim up to where I am? I am sitting here, no working here and being very busy, expecting that the fish will walk in the door and they will be caught. But, I think maybe I need to go cast a net somewhere… This post really hits home!

It’s important to note too, I think, that fishing with a net is a team sport. They did it together. An application for us is that we form a net of relationships in which we “catch” people. A person who comes into the net belongs to the Lord, not to me. And it takes all of us to disciple that person, not just me. In some Christian circles there’s an emphasis to “get your man” or to disciple “your man.” I think that’s wrongheaded.

Dan, agreed–I think! Although I’m in the Philippines right now and I’m picking up some interesting ideas about discipleship that I’ll probably blog about soon. But discipleship works best in the context of community.

Just another random thought: When Jesus came to Peter, the resultant catch was so much it took two boats — Peter’s and John and James’ — to take care of it. That catch must have been worth a lot money to the fishermen. I wonder if that helped enable the three of them to leave their business and help Jesus. It makes me think that the resources for reaping the harvest comes from the harvest, as well. Or something like that.

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