Going Fishing

August 15, 2016
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Mark 1:16-17 – As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." (NASB)

On several recent trips to the grocery store, I noticed how various shoppers have perfected the art of selecting fresh fruits and vegetables. For example:

  • A thump for a sweet watermelon
  • A squeeze for a firm, ripe tomato
  • A sniff for a bag of potatoes
  • A partial shuck for an ear of corn
  • A head of lettuce for its weight

In comparison, weird ways that folks make selections for other items include:

  • Flipping a coin
  • Drawing straws
  • Pulling a name out of a hat
  • Eeny, meeny, miny, moe

Although thumping, sniffing, squeezing, and the lottery may be okay when it comes to produce and other items we purchase, they may hardly be the methods God chooses in selecting a disciple (a follower) to advance His kingdom.

Even if Jesus merely chose fishermen, as the theory goes, there were so many to choose from. According to historian Josephus, there were about 240 boats that regularly fished the waters of Galilee, aside from those fishing along its shores. Jesus, being omniscient, knew the thoughts and intents of the hearts of all the fishermen. So, not only did our Lord notice them in a crowd, but divinely commissioned and sent His apostles out to do His will.

Therefore, in calling the Twelve, it was not that they were qualified, but were readily available and willing to follow Christ because their hearts were receptive for a life-long commitment. For example, when Jesus summoned Levi, he left a successful career, only to suffer a martyr's death.

Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." (NIV 2011)

In responding to this call, we must first have a saving faith, then leave our worldliness behind, and follow Jesus faithfully by being obedient to His Word — at any cost. Then, with a mindset like the apostle Paul, we can say, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14 KJV) Eternal life and treasures in heaven are the ultimate rewards for those who have embraced the divine call, as fishers of men.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace and mercy. Use us to the fullest capacity in ministering to others, that they, too, may receive eternal rewards through our commitment. To You be the glory. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lou Ciccanti <breadoflife@mchsi.com>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very encouraging Lou. God bless.

    Hi Lou:
    Great message. Thank you.

    Not qualified – just available! And then, whaddayaknow, we find we ARE qualified!! God is so awesome! Thanks for writing.

    I like that thought. I’ve been astounded many times when pondering how few people God chose to spread the word. And we are in the few! Thank you.

    Yes, “Follow me” is Christ’s call to discipleship for each of us. Praising God for His call to us. Praising Him for your call to write devotionals for Him. Blessings.

    Thank you for the excellent, well thought-out devotional!
    You reminded me that faith is pleasing to God.
    Blessings in Christ.

    Dear Lou:
    Thank for your devotional and the reminder, all too often ignored in today’s churches, that Christianity is a sacrificial religion and that the call and need for sacrifice did end with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, but is still present today and may be required in some form of all Christians.
    Grace and peace.

    Hi Lou,
    I appreciated your thoughts about the importance of prayerful and insightful strategic decision making and choosing. I did find it amusing that you described drawing straws and other forms of chance type decision making as “weird” in the light of the fact that the remaining 12 chose “casting lots” as the way to select a replacement for Judas. That does seem a weird way to discern the Spirit’s leaning. Since I don’t think Matthias is mentioned again, perhaps that’s why the church opted for other, more thoughtful means of discerning God’s leading. I wonder what stories would be told if the lot fell on Justus.

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