We learn to fish for people by following Jesus.
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“And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.'”
Mark 1:17 English Standard Version
Many of us guys, and probably a number of you gals, look at this man fishing for salmon and think, “now that’s the life.” We think of fishing as an independent activity, a time of getting away by ourselves with no one bothering us except the fish that can’t resist our bait.
Yet, learning to fish is difficult if you try to do it without someone’s help.
My father and brother taught me to fish, something I don’t do as often as I use to. They taught me by showing me what to do. They showed me how to tie the hook on to my line, how to put a worm on the hook and how to untangle my fishing reel. They taught me to follow them.
The operative words that Jesus spoke to his disciples are the words “follow me.” Learning to fish for people requires following Jesus. We can’t learn to fish for people with God’s love and mercy if we haven’t experience that mercy and love from Jesus.
The call to follow Jesus is a call to follow him to his blood drenched cross that all the world might experience grace. We bring people to Jesus’ cross by first traveling that path ourselves.
You see, we don’t learn about God’s love in a vacuum. We learn about God’s love from each other where we experience God’s gift of community. Learning how to fish for people is rooted in God’s gift of those who’ve been fishing for sometime.
Copyright Douglas P. Brauner