Fish. Lots of fish.
By now, fillets of salmon are in the freezer or in jars. Or plans are made and supplies gathered for canning, ready to start when the temperature gets cooler. Fish in the winter sure tastes good and worth the effort now.
Jesus used fish in his miracles many times.
He told his disciples, “Launch out … let down your nets.” After spending the night fishing with little results, they were tired and ready to quit. However, when they obeyed his word, they caught so many fish they had to get help from their partners. Even then, the catch was so great the boats were in danger of sinking. Fishing became catching to a great degree.
Multitudes followed the Messiah to hear his teaching. They stayed for days and ran out of provisions. With no market near to buy goods, they had to do without. Jesus saw their condition and reacted with compassion. When his disciples advised to send the crowd away, Jesus said to give them food. They thought that was impossible in terms of their own meager resources, but Jesus was about to show them his miraculous supply. A little lad’s lunch of 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish was brought to Jesus. He blessed it and broke it into pieces for his disciples to distribute. Thousands witnessed a miracle that day. Not only were stomachs filled, but12 baskets were filled with leftovers. I wonder if the lad who donated his lunch got one of the baskets? What a fish story he had to tell his friends!
Challenged by religious authorities on paying tribute money for the temple, Jesus told Peter to go fishing. He was to cast out a hook, and the first fish he caught would have a coin in its mouth. This money was to pay the tribute. What a fishing trip! Was Peter tempted to keep fishing?
Perhaps the greatest miracle about fishing was the call Jesus made for his disciples. “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” This happened in a measure as related in Luke 10 when they were sent forth to heal the sick. However, the Book of Acts tells of thousands who came to faith in Christ, and they experienced Christ in them. Chapter two, the beginning of the church, relates the story of explosive evangelism and the increase of believers as thousands obeyed the words of Peter and the apostles, “fishers of men.”
Those “caught” by the truth and love of Jesus experience wonderful changes by his power. It is so dynamically powerful; Jesus called it being “born again.” This is an amazing second chance opportunity.
A final aspect of being “caught” is prophesied in 1 Thessalonians 4. When Jesus returns, “the dead in Christ shall rise.” Then those faithful followers who are alive and remain will be “caught up” with them to meet the Lord. This is not a temporary gathering but eternal, and “so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
To be with the Lord today has bountiful benefits. This relational faith will mean a forever finale with the Father. “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road and Entrada. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10:00 a.m. and worship at 11:00 a.m. Thursday Bible study is at 7:00 p.m. (sterlingpentecostalchurch.com)