By Joel Wier
While walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.
1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts adore Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
In Matthew 4:18, we see two men who are hard workers providing for their families. The text tells us what their occupation was, “for they were fishermen.” I would imagine that the pressure to catch fish was heavy from time to time when the fish were hard to find. If any of you have had many opportunities to fish, then you know how fickle catching fish can sometimes be. Personally, one of my favorite pastimes is bass fishing. I am able to relax and enjoy God’s creation even if I’m not catching fish, but don’t get me wrong—I would rather catch fish than not catch fish. I love being outside. I love the challenge of piecing together all the different factors to determine where the fish will hopefully be on any given day. Some of the factors that can determine a good or poor quantity of fish are the moon phase, the barometric pressure, time of day, water temperature, clear water, murky water, depth of water, cloudy, not a cloud in the sky, windy, or maybe—and I use this frequently—the fish just ain’t bitin’! (I’ll come back to my love for fishing in a moment.)
In 1 Peter 3:15, Peter—no longer a fisherman of fish but a fisherman of men—has put all of his fish, so to speak, into one basket. Jesus said to him, “Come follow Me,” and he did. He and his brother Andrew went from focusing on the best time and place in the Sea of Galilee to cast and fill a net to being ready to testify and proclaim to everyone about the hope they had found in Jesus. They prepared their hearts by listening to Him speak and by trusting in His words. They knew that Jesus loved them and that His words were full of truth and forgiveness and power. He was the hope they had been waiting for. Just like they had given their all, day after day, fishing for fish to support their families, now out of adoration and obedience to Jesus and His example of how to serve and love, they were giving their all to share His story.
Back to my story… The reason I go to all of the trouble in researching all of these different puzzle pieces to help me catch fish more frequently is because I love catching fish. I also love fishing with other people, sharing different techniques, and if someone in the bait store asks me what the fish are biting on, I don’t mind telling them because catching fish is fun. Fishing can be tough at times, but I love the opportunities when they come.
When Jesus said, “Come follow me” to Peter and Andrew, even though fishing for fish was their livelihood, they dropped their nets because they knew Jesus gave them hope for a future. They gave the rest of their lives to share the story of this Jesus who called to them and changed their lives. They knew Him. They loved Him. They listened to Him. They discipled people all across Asia Minor and testified to the story of how they were once fishermen of fish and Jesus made them fishermen of men. Through God’s Word, He proclaims His love and forgiveness through His Son Jesus Christ by sharing the testimonies of Peter, Andrew and Matthew as they walked and were renewed in Christ. Today, since we have trusted in God’s divine Word, repented and been forgiven of our sins through the blood of Jesus, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can proclaim to everyone the hope that we have found in Jesus.
Peter and Andrew were fishermen; that is part of their story. I once was a mechanic, now my title is worship pastor. All is a part of my story but what makes my story worth telling is that Jesus forgave me of my sin. Part of your story might be that you work as a beautician, a nurse, a welder, or maybe even a fisherman but if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, He is the part of your story that everyone has to hear. Tell the story He has given you.
I’m remembering this hymn I grew up with as a child.
I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story; for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.
Father, You are worthy, You are holy. Thank You for sharing Your Son with us and giving us the opportunity to tell the story of how You forgave and redeemed our lives. I pray that all who read this prayer will boast in Your grace today and until You return. Amen!