Jesus Really Means “Go”!
A simple story I ran across meant to make us answer a simple question. Am I a fisher of men?
Missing the Great Commission
Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishers. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were hungry. Week after week, month after month, and year after year these who called themselves fishers held meetings and talked about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing. They carefully defined what fishing means, defended fishing as an occupation, and declared that fishing is always to be the primary task of fishers.
Continually they searched for new and better methods of fishing, and for new and better definitions of fishing. They loved slogans such as “Fishing is the task of every Fisher,” and “A fishing outpost for every fishing club.” They sponsored special meetings called “Fisher’s Campaigns” and “The Month for Fishers to Fish.” They held congresses to discuss fishing, to promote fishing and to hear about all the new methods of fishing and whether any new bait was discovered. These fishers built large, beautiful buildings called “Fishing Headquarters.” The plea was that everyone should be a fisher and every fisher should fish.
One thing, though, they didn’t do was…fish.
In addition to meeting regularly, they organized a board to send out fishers to other places where there were many fish. Everyone seemed to agree that what was needed was a board which could challenge fishers to be faithful in fishing. The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, and to promote the idea of fishing in faraway streams and lakes where many fish of different colors lived.
But one thing they didn’t do was…fish.
Large, elaborate and expensive training centers were built whose original and primary purpose was to teach people how to fish. Over the years courses were offered on the needs of fish, the nature of fish, where to find fish, the psychological reactions of fish, and how to approach and feed fish. Those who taught had doctorates in fishology.
But, no matter how well they taught, one thing the good Dr. Fishers forgot was to…fish.
Now it’s true that many of the fishers sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day. Some received the ridicule of people who made fun of their fishing clubs. So, imagine how hurt some of them were when, one day, someone suggested that those who didn’t put their lines in the water to try to catch fish were really not fishers – no matter how much they claimed to be.
Is a person a fisher if year after year she never tries to catch a fish? Is a person a fisher if he isn’t fishing?
You don’t have to be successful to be a fisherman. You do have to get fishing.