A Few Changes to the Job Description

by DanWolgemuth on June 6, 2014

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:18-19)

Jesus broke through the focused activities of two competent and vocationally-driven fishermen with a life-altering offer.   “Fish for men,” He said.  Jesus used the skills and life lessons that these men had spent years acquiring.

Peter and Andrew didn’t need an explanation or a job description.  Simply put, Jesus wanted the object of their activity to change, but He expected the passion, the discipline, the understanding and the vision to mirror what had propelled their business, and consequently, their lives.

Throughout the three years that these men shared in the earthly mission of Jesus He continued to teach them Gospel fishing lessons.  One of their final encounters with Jesus highlights this beautifully – Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. (John 21:4-6)

153 fish later the missional lesson was still sinking in.  Faithfulness and obedience in the casting of nets is our responsibility, but filling those nets is an outcome that depends on Jesus.

Trust Jesus with the call.  Honor Him with the results.

But there was one more anomaly to fishing for men… one more notable difference.  I would surmise that Peter and Andrew not only caught fish, they cleaned them.  Once again, at the end of Jesus’ personal ministry to Peter, He fed him fish for breakfast.  Jesus cleaned these fish for breakfast.  And just as it is His work to fill the nets, it is His work to clean the fish.

We cast; He fills.  We cast; He cleans.

Perhaps by the time the final period landed on the Gospel of John His select disciples understood what was a part of this new fishing assignment and, just as importantly, what was not.

Yes indeed, fish for men… but leave the filling and the cleaning to Him.  Our savior; our redeemer, our companion on the sea.

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