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Take It With You 01.12.2020

Explore and Inspire

Jesus’ invitation to brothers Peter and Andrew and James and John is one of the most vivid in my mind. I can absolutely see all of them there by the sea among the nets and boats, smells of fish and salt and the creaking docks, caught up in the only thing they’ve ever known, a way of life as natural as breathing. And Jesus asks them to leave all of that and follow Him. And they do!

And I love what else Jesus does. He puts His invitation in words and pictures His listeners can understand intrinsically: Jesus says that He will make them fishers of men.

Now. True confessions. I am not a fisherman. So when I hear this metaphor, the first thing that comes to my mind is a man-sized fishing pole with a big ole cheeseburger on a hook at the end of the line. And Jesus is swinging this thing around His head like Brad Pitt in a “River Runs Through It”, a beautiful, circular dance of line and bait, until it lands in the lap of a heavily bearded man watching college football on the 70” in his favorite easy chair. Glory! The man can’t believe his good fortune, takes a big greasy bite. Jesus sets the hook, and man and chair alike explode from the comfort of hearth and home to land at the booted feet of a man in waders and robes. (I know I’m stereotyping but I can’t help the first thing that comes into my mind.)

That said, and for many reasons, maybe it’s best not to go with the first thing that comes to my mind. 

Anyway, as I give this metaphor a little more thought, drawing on what I do know of fishing, I wonder if Jesus wanted to teach these brothers – and us – patience, persistence, an easiness with silence, that fishing for men is as much about what God wants to do in us as what He delights to do through us. And only once on TV did I ever see fish jump into a boat. Most fishermen have to go where the fish are.

– Giles Blankenship