Fishing metaphor in context

In this Sunday’s sermon, Randy demonstrated a helpful hermeneutic (method of interpretation). He reminded us not only that Jesus called his disciples to be “fishers of men,” but what assumption his first century listeners would have had. If Jesus were to say “fishers of men” to me and my kayak buddies, I can tell you how I would interpret it. When I go fishing with someone else in the kayak, I can actually be a hundred yards away from that person, and still be “fishing with” that person. Not necessarily a team mentality.

But when Jesus told his disciples that he would make them “fishers of men,” they obviously would not have thought of fishing in my terms, but in their terms. And they would not have thought hook, line, and lures only, but with nets and a team of people handling those nets.

I had been reminded of this “fisher of men” verse my whole life for obvious reasons, but had always interpreted this metaphor from my present understanding of fishing: which is individualistic as opposed to a team mentality. Evangelism is definitely a communal effort and this metaphor in its original context only reaffirms that truth.

Here’s my biggest redfish (24”) from my kayak fishing tournament last Saturday. I think God was reinforcing a more relational style of fishing since all 5 (2 trout and 3 reds) of my fish were caught when fishing with, not “with,” my buddy.

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