Read Luke 5:1-11
Peter had devoted much of his life to fishing. This wasn’t the rod and reel, line and lure variety of fishing where one stood on shore and cast the bait into the water. Nor was it the Bass Pro variety with expensive boat and sonar system for locating the fish. No, it was pretty simple really. He and his brother Andrew had a boat and a net. Perhaps they identified some of their favorite spots where it seemed that fish liked to hang out.
Still, fishing was hard work. In fact, as the sun rose over the hills and began to reflect off of the Sea of Galilee, Peter and his brother and fishing partner, Andrew, were likely discouraged and exhausted. After a hard night on the sea, they had returned with nothing to show for it. Zippo. To them, it must have seemed as if they had cast the net in every imaginable direction only to pull it back up empty.
They didn’t often get non-fishing kinds of requests. But when this man, Jesus, asked Peter to take Him out in the boat, it seemed like the right thing to do. He had quite a following, and, from his words, Peter likely identified Him as a Jewish religious expert.
We can understand Peter’s reticence when Jesus gave him instructions on where to try another cast of the net. And we can also understand Peter’s response, when the resultant catch required additional help and nearly caused now two boats to sink. Clearly, this preacher with a following was a righteous man with a vital connection to God.
Then came the call to follow…in statement form…”Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people (v. 10).” What did Peter, James, and John do? “They left everything and follow him (v. 11).” The Master was inviting them to change the focus of their fishing from the finned variety to the ones with arms, legs, and feet.
Sure, much of this story is a narrative description of what happened to Peter, James, and John. But the call is still the same today. All who take up the call to follow Christ must recognize the inherent command to reach others with the life-changing message of the Savior (Matt. 28:18-20). Are you casting the net wide in your circle of relationships and acquaintances in hopes of catching some of them?
To follow is to fish.