Jude 22-23 – Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear — hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. (NIV)
Matthew 4:18-20 – As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. (NIV)
Mark 16:15 – He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." (NIV)
My husband and I spent many fun-filled weekends at a little fishing village in the Florida panhandle on the gentle waters of the gulf. We spent many hours fishing with our poles or rods and reels. We were selective fishermen. We had a choice of where we fished and what kind of fish we expected to catch. The type of rod or bait that was used could determine this.
There was another kind of fishermen who went out in boats and used nets. They were collective fishermen. They snatched up everything in the water into their nets.
I thought about Jesus and His calling of Peter, Andrew, James, and John. He told them to come and follow Him, and He would make them fishers of men. These men had been net fishermen. Jesus was to turn their skills into fishing for men's souls.
In seeking people for the kingdom of God, we should not be selective as rod or pole fishermen are, though this type is not to be ignored either. Jesus said we are to go into the entire world and preach His Word. We are to be collective fishermen, snatching all we can from sin and destruction and bringing them into the kingdom, regardless of race, colour, or creed; there is room for all.
Prayer: Lord, make of us "fishers of men", just as You called Your first disciples. May we realize we are to fish for all souls, not just those of our friends or the selective kind we'd like to see be members, but also for all who are in danger of losing their souls. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.