Read Luke 5:1-11
I wonder how many fish Peter caught in the course of his life. Certainly, two literal “boat loads” are recorded here. John 5:1-11 records another 153 fish. (Yes, the Scriptures were that exact!) By the amazement described in these two accounts, it seems that both catches were extraordinary in their day. Today, these catches may have earned him a lead article in Field and Stream magazine and perhaps a sponsorship from Bass Pro Shop®.
Of greater significance, however, were the catches he made as he transitioned from fisherman to fisher of men. His encounters with Christ while fishing forever changed his life direction and the direction of others.
I can relate.
My story growing up is one of limited exposure to church or to the Bible…but it is one with lots of fishing. As a teenager, I tried to go fishing daily or even a couple of times a day, if I could. I walked to the ponds in our neighborhood, longing for the next big catch. Over time, I recognized a neighbor, Bill, who also liked to fish. But Bill was also a fisher of men. While fishing on a July day in 1976, he shared with me the message of Christ’s sinless life and my sinful one. He shared how Christ’s death and resurrection made it possible for me to have a relationship with God. He invited me to, by faith, receive God’s forgiveness and become part of God’s family. That day, with fishing pole in hand on the bank of the pond, I did just that. I placed faith in Jesus.
Next, this fisher of men extended another invitation…one to join him at church. Although I had only been in a church a few times in my life, I accepted the invitation. The church provided the context and relationships for my continued growth in Christ.
I thank God for a fisherman who was also a fisher of men. I thank God for a man who invited me into a relationship with Christ and into the body of Christ. And though I don’t fish much anymore, I am asking God to use me as I extend invitations to others in my world to join me in knowing my Savior and in coming to my church. This Sunday is a great time to do just that!