Just outside Bayou La Batre, Alabama, there is an old fishing pier jutting out into the gulf. Tropical storms and the passing of time have taken their toll on it. Missing planks and weathered pilings have weakened the old pier to the point it is no longer used. Evidence of activity is missing. Tale-tell signs of bait containers, fish scales, and pieces of tangled line are not to be found. So, there it sets. It is not fulfilling its created purpose and it might even be considered a hazard.
On an ancient day, Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee. Seeing fishermen along the shore, He said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). From that day to this, Jesus still calls those who would be his disciples to follow Him and become “fishers of men.” The compelling theme of His ministry was that those who believed and followed Him would be engaged in soul winning as fishers of men. His intention was clear: His disciples would be His witnesses where ever they were (Acts 1:8).
Like fishing piers, we also are to reach out into the water where fish can be found. His design for us, as His disciples, is that we have pilings that go down deep so we can endure the storms. The planking of our lives, upon which men can walk to Him, must be strong and well anchored. We read in Colossians 2:6-7, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith…”
Do you consider yourself to be a disciple of Jesus? Are you not then a “fisher of men”? Are you catching any fish? Jesus expects his followers to be involved in bringing the lost to Him. One of the chief responsibilities He has given to us is to fish for men. Surely we all understand that! James 4:17 clearly informs us, “Therefore, to him that knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin.” We must not allow ourselves to become like the old fishing pier, dilapidated and uselessness.
After His resurrection and just before His ascension into heaven, Jesus appeared to the very men He had earlier called to be His fishermen. John 21 records the last conversation Jesus had with His disciples. His penetrating question to them was, “Children are you catching any fish?”
“…and he that wins souls is wise.” (Pr. 11:30b)
“Let him know, that he which converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and shall hide a multitude of sins.” (James 5:20)
“And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh” ( Jude 22,23 ESV)
~ Brother Roy