“Father, I ask you for the evangelistic interpretation about being a fisher of men.”… When we go back to the text in Matthew 4:19 where Jesus called Peter and said, "Follow me," we see Peter dropped the net immediately, dropped his life, dropped the way he made money, and everything he knew, and soon, he was in the ministry with Jesus. So, Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men.” Peter was following Jesus. Later on, in Matthew 22:15-21, we see the Pharisees trying to catch Jesus concerning paying tribute to Caesar. Then all of a sudden, the spirit of this age, the antichrist spirit comes and says, “Oh Peter, you owe us taxes.” This could have been the end and Peter could have said, “Oh, I have to go back and make money to pay these taxes, or I will be put into jail.” All of this worry could have stopped Peter. But no. In a passage before that in Matthew 17:27, what did Jesus do? He sends him out one more time and says cast your pole. “The first fish you catch will have a coin in its mouth, the money for tax tribute. There will be enough to pay your taxes and mine” (Matthew 17:27). Then Peter went and caught the first fish. Jesus did a miracle! We see the systems of the world, the spirit of the age, and the religious system tried to stop His work. But Jesus continued doing it and He still does.
Then He made an example of man being like a fish. “Now I am going to make you a fisher of men,” He said. All of us are not fishers in the natural, but in everything we do, we need to do following the will of the Father. He said in Mark 16: 16-22, go into all the world, make disciples, preach the Gospel, do the works of an evangelist, go and be a fisher of men. Everything you need is in the mouth of the fish you catch. Jesus had the money, He just preferred not to waste the opportunity to glorify the Father as He performed that miracle right in front of the eyes of the disciples. He didn't just give the money. He sent him back there for a reason to show him the power of God. He was showing Peter and us that when we are doing the will of the Father, everything is at our fingertips. Peter got the first fish and got the coin out of the fish's mouth. So, God sent a fish with a coin in its mouth, or the fish ate a coin years ago, or God knew directly where that fish was in the ocean, and as Peter caught it, God put the coin in its mouth at the same time. No matter what happened, it was a miracle. We can go home and all of a sudden, something will appear in our bank account because God can do it. He can send somebody to you: “Hey I am supposed to give you something. I am supposed to give you this coin because you need it right now.”
We are too busy trying to do everything out of the kingdom and we say we are doing it because we want to help the kingdom. We are not really helping the kingdom because we are doing it in a different aspect, with a different agenda, but out of the spirit of fear. Although, if we get into the perfect will of God, everything we need will be there. The only time that things we need are not there is when we do things the way we want to. It’s very simple, and God is teaching us all how the kingdom works. It works. All we need to do is to be in it, to stay in the Spirit.
So, when we go out today and fish for men, everything will be taken care of, our taxes, our bills, and wisdom will come if Jesus is with us. A lot of people are doing things in their own way and that is where striving comes in, that’s where lack comes in. That’s when we begin to stop and need a miracle but the miracle is always going to happen when we are catching fish; when we are fishers of men; when we catch them and make them disciples of Christ.
“Thank you, Father, that we are fishers of men!” On a big scale even now, we can become fishers of men when we throw the net out on a crusade but see, it will take a lot of hands. The net is so big, the catch is so big that we will need to have a lot of people to pull the net in. All of us can throw a hook out any day, any place we are at, and catch some fish. But there is a great harvest of fish, and to pull that net in, we will need the whole Body of Christ working together.
Then in another passage in John 21, Jesus showed off, “Hey I am going to make a big catch!” Remember, Peter was out there fishing all night, and Peter toiled all night, which means he was striving all night. Then Jesus shows up and He says to throw the net on the other side. Then Peter says, “Lord, come on, we’ve been doing this all night. We have been cleaning the boat. We are tired. We are going home defeated. We are broke, disgusted, smelly, old seaweed nets, and we have to go tell our wives - we had a bad night on the sea.” Then Jesus shows up on the scene. Everybody knows that when Jesus is on the scene, something is going to happen. He says, “Throw your net on the other side. You have been doing this all your life. Now follow My ways! Go back one more time and throw your net on the other side.” Then they started pulling in the fish. There were so many fish, and they were so excited. They even had to call the other boats to help them. That's why when we go out on these big crusades, when we go out and get a big catch, we need everybody. Doing, cleaning here, doing this, making food, preaching, praying: Whatever we do, we must work together by one Spirit, one mind, one accord! It can't be done by one man; it will take finances; it will take the whole Body; it will take all the gifts of the Spirit. We must be continuing throwing the bread onto the waters so the fish already caught will continue to be fed.
God has a big old aquarium. You know when you have an aquarium, you go every couple of days and put the fish food on the top – like throwing the bread upon the water (Ecclesiastes 11). That's now what happens in the kingdom. In the big fishbowl of the Lord, we are always throwing revelation, revealed mysteries, knowledge of Him! God wants to feed us with fish food which is the bread from heaven and God puts it out through the Apostle and the Prophet. We need to be able to do that! See how it all works out. He called the other boats to pull in the catch because the harvest of fish was so big. Peter could not do it himself. He didn't even care about the fish that were falling out of the net because they had so much. They didn't even know what they were going to do with it. Peter was concerned about paying his taxes. Peter didn't have the wisdom of God yet. He had the poverty carnal mindset. He didn't have the wisdom from above yet. But Peter learned from Jesus little by little how to be a fisher of men and how to fish man His way. Why did Jesus say, “Throw your net right here?” He knows who, what, where, and when. He is the greatest fisher of men of all times! He just makes it happen. It is supernatural. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit moving. It is a miracle! That is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, too: to make us fishers of men!
“Father, we thank you that we are Yours. We want to bring more fish into Your bowl. All different kinds of fish. All different kinds of fish from all the nations in the world, and even right here in our region. Thank you, Father, for the revealing of Your parables. Thank you for Your miracles. Thank you for Your signs and wonders. Thank you for Your revelation of Your kingdom. Oh God, may whatever we do be not out of striving but out of obedience to You, God. You will supply all our needs according to Your riches and glory if we seek the kingdom, if we seek the fish, if we seek to be a fisher of men! A big catch will come. Even that catch will multiply and multiply. Father, we ask that our gifts will never be used for our own profit, but for the advancing your kingdom. Father, we repent for not being fishers of men like you want us to be. Father, we have been feeding the fishbowl, but you want to add to the fish. There have been so many out there. We have been feeding the fishbowl so much that some of the food has been wasted and there are not enough fish to eat it. It has been wasted. The bread is getting stale because only the remnant is eating the bread. So, Father, you are now taking fish out of the big aquarium and putting them in the fishbowl, in Your presence. From the big tank of the world into the kingdom. We thank you for Your kingdom. We thank You that we will eat it all. Peter dropped his net and followed Christ Jesus. We do the same today! Father, we thank You for even using the old ways to see the new ways. Show us Your ways. Your ways are higher than our ways. Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts. May we see the manifestation of the Body of Christ fitly joined together. Father God, we thank You. A fine-oiled machine operating in the Spirit and not the flesh. The oil of the Holy Spirit moving the wheel of God, bringing the greatest harvest of fish before the second coming of Christ Jesus! Let’s go fishing Your ways!”
Shane W Roessiger