“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.” (Matthew 4:18-22 ESV) I wonder if John remembered this moment on the day he stood under Jesus’ cross? What a contrast—going from a bright, hopeful morning on the seashore to the darkness of grief and fear on a small hill outside Jerusalem. And yet the cross was there, waiting, even in Jesus’ first call: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
It wasn’t as if the disciples didn’t know death. Fishing involves death by its very nature, though not usually for the fisherman! But this is Jesus’ kind of fishing—where the fisherman dies so the fish will live, and the fish are caught in God’s nets—only to live forever in freedom and joy.
We are some of those fish—you, and I, and everyone who has come to trust in Jesus because the disciples told people about Him. They spread the word, and people around the world came to faith in a God who loved them so much He would lay down His life for them. Now we, the fish, get to be fishermen as well—telling our friends and family about Jesus.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I’m so glad You caught me! Amen.
* Do you like to fish? Why or why not?
* Who was your fisherman, who first brought you to Jesus?
* Pray for a “fish” you know and love who doesn’t yet know Jesus.
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on February 25, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved