Every person is unique, so it is also important that we approach God in a unique way. In this article I will show you how you can find God according to your uniqueness.
Jesus encounters fishermen who have caught nothing …
When Jesus met the fishermen
Lk.5,1-21 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.
Why not to go fishing in the daytime
The fishermen had been out at night, going about their business. In the night the fish can be caught best, so they learned it from their fathers. For in the cool of the night the fish come close to the surface. But during the day they avoid the surface heated by the sun and prefer to retreat into the depths of the water. However, in the darkness of the night it is not so easy to see where the fish are. For this reason, this activity is very often a “on the off chance” cast the nets.
When Jesus comes to the lake, the fishermen are sitting on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Their boats had come back empty from night fishing. They had nothing to sell. Now they are sitting on the edge of the lake, where they normally sell their fish, and therefore have time and opportunity to wash and mend their nets.
When there is nothing to sell
For me, this passage of the biblical message reveals a very fundamental wisdom: “Fishermen who catch nothing mend nets. What seems to be completely logical in the first moment gets a very deep meaning in the prophetic reference to the church. We can apply this image to the “fisher of men” as well. Jesus called his disciples, and thus also the later churches, to be “fishers of men”. But when they do not catch anything, they also start “mending nets”. Then also the secondary matter becomes the main matter, as with the fishermen on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Then the fishermen argue about theology, about the right direction and much more. In the image of the frustrated fishermen on the edge of the Sea of Galilee, there is now the latent danger of arguing about the right time to catch, about the right nets, about the right place to catch and much more. Those who do not work together will eventually quarrel with each other.
What does Jesus do with these demotivated fishermen who are in danger of quarreling? He leads them back to the water. Back to where the fish are. Both the fishermen of men and the real fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. But when Jesus leads the fishermen back to the water in the biblical example, something crucial is fundamentally different. He tells them how to fish.
The fishermen had learned in their training that you fish at night and why. They had learned how and where to throw the nets, how long you have to pull them and much more. But now Jesus comes and throws all this overboard, because he knows where the fish are. He can even call them so that they can be caught. The learned fishermen stand there with open mouths and do not know quite how they happen.
A new life lesson ?
But now the fishermen might say, “Great, Jesus has now taught us something brand new. he has shown us how and where to fish by day.” No, not so. It is not about new successful principles, but about this “at his word”. It is about Jesus knowing where the people are and sending his disciples there. So he does not want to teach us, as his disciples, principles and methods for evangelism and also not for church building, but to teach us to be guided “by his living word”.
We can see in this biblical account how Jesus passes on to his later disciples and apostles a basic lesson on living in the “land of rest”. They can live in this rest by showing them that the futile “cramping all night” – and the acting “on his living word” are two opposite rules of life. This lesson becomes quite significant for their ministry of apostles, and it is for ours as well. We too should work as his “fishers of men” – but only through his “living word”.