One day Jesus was standing beside Lake Gennesaret when the crowd pressed in around him to hear God’s word. Jesus saw two boats sitting by the lake. The fishermen had gone ashore and were washing their nets. Jesus boarded one of the boats, the one that belonged to Simon, then asked him to row out a little distance from the shore. Jesus sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he finished speaking to the crowds, he said to Simon, “Row out farther, into the deep water, and drop your nets for a catch.” Simon replied, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and caught nothing. But because you say so, I’ll drop the nets.” So they dropped the nets and their catch was so huge that their nets were splitting. They signaled for their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They filled both boats so full that they were about to sink. When Simon Peter saw the catch, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Leave me, Lord, for I’m a sinner!” Peter and those with him were overcome with amazement because of the number of fish they caught. James and John, Zebedee’s sons, were Simon’s partners and they were amazed too. Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on, you will be fishing for people.” As soon as they brought the boats to the shore, they left everything and followed Jesus. (Luke 5:1-11, CEB)
How does one fish for people? What bait do we use? Or is there even bait?
I am not a fisherman. I do know there are different types of fishing, and different methods. Clearly here they dropped nets in the water. They didn’t use poles. So the fish are just caught by surprise as they are just casually swimming along.
Is that how we fish for people? Snag them in a net and bring them against their will? Or do we use the right bait to lure them in, and then keep them? This all just sounds wrong.
It isn’t about luring people in or trapping them. Jesus told Simon he would fish for people, because Simon would be sharing the love that God had given him to others, and that would have them wanting to know more.
We are not convincing people, tricking people, luring people. We are sharing what we have and what everyone needs, love.
Love out loud.
Loving People. Loving God.