Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fishers of Men

Luke 5 tells the story of Jesus calling some of his disciples from a group of fisherman. He said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Like many people, my image was one of an angler standing beside a trout stream or a lake, slowing casting a line. Down the shore was another fisherman doing the same thing. Occasionally they would exchange pleasantries –“Catching anything?” “No, you?”

But that is not the context here. Jesus is talking to a fishing crew who had just pulled in boatload of fish. When Jesus implied that His followers would be “Fishers of Men,” he was obviously thinking about a crew working together, repairing nets, driving the boat, hauling in the nets, and sorting fish. That is a much different picture than the loan fisherman casting a line with a rod and reel. Unlike a stringer of bass, a boatload of fish is not particularly pretty. There are all sorts of things in the net. A Biblically functioning church will have all sorts of people. Drug addicts, alcoholics, and ex-cons will be sitting next to doctors, lawyers, and teachers.

Not surprisingly, that happens everyday at coffeehouses such as Homer’s, sporting events, and often, the workplace - less often in church and Sunday School.

If we are on a fishing-boat crew, no one person can point to a fish and say that one’s mine. We are all in it together. We’re working together to build one another up, building a better community, and growing “The Kingdom of God.”