Teach a Man to Fish

Jesus said to them, 'Come after me, and I will make you into fishers for men.' Immediately they left their nets, and followed him. Mark 1:17-18 WEB

While growing up, I spent a lot of time on the rivers near my home in South Carolina. The black water of the Waccamaw was just a few miles away, and hunting and fishing were a normal part of everyday life in the country. Bait selection was imperative, crickets for bream, night-crawlers for catfish, minnows or lures for bass. A good fisherman always went prepared.

You also use different tactics according to your quarry. When fishing you try and entice a fish to take the bait. You put something in front of them that looks good, appealing, a lure, something that they desire and would want to eat. Using the wrong bait will get you nothing but ignored, but the fish will pounce on the right bait. If you make too much noise, you will drive all the fish away.

Hunting is almost opposite. You pursue your prey, often with the help of barking dogs and other hunters, depending on the quarry. The prey does not willingly submit either. It is being chased or ambushed, and their only desire is to get as far away from you as possible.

God knows the difference between hunting and fishing as well, and there are different seasons for each. He told Jeremiah: 'Behold, I will send for many fishermen,' says Yahweh, 'and they will fish them up. Afterward I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain, from every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks' (Jeremiah 16:16). In Jeremiah, He gave Israel a chance to come willingly by having fishers 'lure' them. Afterwards He sent the hunters to force them.

Jesus said that He would make us 'fishers of men', not their hunters. We are to make Jesus look good, appealing, someone people would want to know. If they do not willingly take the bait then move on. Do not pursue them like a hunter as you will just drive them away. No means no.

The prodigal son's Father did not chase him down the road with a Bible yelling at him, but instead was there waiting for his return when he came to his senses (Luke 15:17). Jesus did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them (Luke 9:56). So make Jesus look good, and do not be offensive or scary when you share your faith with others.

Prayer: Heavenly Father I thank You for Your grace and wisdom. Help me know what to say at the right time and keep me from driving people away that would come to know You. Help me find a balance in my life. Please walk with me and talk with me today, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

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