Saturday, April 18, 2020

Fishers Of Men

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

As a youngster, a favorite place to play among the neighborhood boys was on the banks of a creek that flowed through the back yards across the street from my family’s house. On a summer day, we would often roll up our pant legs and take our shoes off and go wading into the shallows of the creek and look for crayfish, tiny crab-like critters with pinchers. They looked like tiny lobsters. Some of the older boys would use them as bait for fishing in the Erie Canal. Back then, few would dare eat anything out of the Canal, but the fishing was something to do on a warm day.

When Jesus began to minister to people, it was near the town of Capernaum, along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Fishing there was not a child’s pastime, but a career for men. The Sea itself was roughly 5 miles wide, and 8 miles long, and with the surrounding hills, it would remind you of our nearby Finger Lakes Region, except without cottages and homes occupying every inch of shoreline.

Catching crayfish, or digging worms to go fishing are the things of children. Fishing to put food on the family table is a man’s job, but it can start in little creek beds, or with worms from your backyard. I wonder what Peter and Andrew did while growing up along the shores of the Galilee. More than likely, they were scooped up by their Dad and taken on the boats to help keep the nets ready for the net casting of their Dad, or learning to mend nets at an early age. I can’t imagine they had time to simply play as we did. But their fathers were teaching them to fish all along the way. Casting a net, mending a net, gathering it back in the boat in a way that few fish would escaped the catch. Sons learn by watching their fathers do what they did.

Jesus knew how to fish, but His “catch-of-the-day” was people like you and me. He took us out from the sea of humanity, and set us upon a rock. He’d love us and grow us into the people He designed us to be. And, He is still doing that work in us.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good
work in you, will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

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