Truth On Fire

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I did a lot of fishing in my younger days. I was born and raised in Miami, FL and did a bunch of both salt and fresh water angling. I can’t count the number of large mouth bass (Everglades) and lane snapper (Florida Keys) I caught back in the day. 

But going fishing never guaranteed coming home with fish. Someone said they call it ‘Fishin’ for a reason. If anglers always brought home fish, they’d call it ‘Catchin’. 

One of the downsides of fishing is the presence of ‘Trash’ fish. Nothing is more bothersome than running into schools of alligator gar (fresh water) or grunts (salt water). Even commercial fishermen hauling in their nets are tasked with separating the marketable fish from the trash fish. 

In Mark 1:17, Jesus told his disciples: “Follow me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” From this invitation, we conclude (1) fishing for men is at the top of the list of Kingdom priorities, and (2) Jesus is the Master Angler. 

But fishing in the physical realm has its differences with fishing in the spiritual realm. I recall occasions, when pulling in a grunt, saying: “Oh great, another stupid grunt!” and throwing him back. And then there were occasions, when hauling in a five-pound grouper, I said: “Now that’s what I call a real catch!” 

In the spiritual realm, however, Jesus NEVER says: “Oh great, another trash sinner!” Or perhaps: “Now that’s a sinner worth catching!” In God’s Kingdom, there are neither TRASH sinners nor TROPHY sinners! 

The thing that makes ALL sinners valuable in the sight of God is the fact ALL of them bear his image and likeness. Jesus confirmed the infinite worth of EVERY sinner when he went to the Cross and shed his blood as the atonement for ALL their sins! Jesus punctuated this truth when he asked: "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain THE WHOLE WORLD, and lose HIS OWN SOUL?" (Mark 8:36). 

When it comes to fishing for men, the distinctions men often make are distinctions God NEVER makes. In the Kingdom of God, there are those who BAIT the gospel hook and those who know how to SET the gospel hook. Others are in a position to provide resources for spreading the gospel.  

If you belong to Jesus the Master Angler, pray earnestly about what part he wants you to play in the greatest fishing expedition of all—fishing for men! 


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