Faithlife Sermons

Fishers of Men

The Training Of The Twelve  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →

From “Come” to “Go” in 3 1/2 years

New Testament 5:1–11—Fishers of People

Like Moses’ experience as a shepherd, David’s as a commander and Joseph’s as an administrator, the background of these disciples as fishermen can provide them a perspective that will help them for their new task.

Luke 5:1–2 NIV
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.
New Testament 5:1–11—Fishers of People

5:1–2. Nets would collect things other than edible fish, thus requiring cleaning. Edible fish in the inland “Sea” of Galilee (the Lake of Gennesaret) today include varieties of carp; Josephus says that the lake of Galilee held several kinds of fish.

Luke 5:3 NIV
He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
New Testament 5:1–11—Fishers of People

5:3. The shore of the lake functioned acoustically like an amphitheater; withdrawing a little from the crowd and addressing them from the boat thus would have made Jesus much easier to hear.

Luke 5:4–5 NET 2nd ed.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing! But at your word I will lower the nets.”
New Testament 5:1–11—Fishers of People

5:4–5. Peter’s obedience is exemplary; a fisherman might trust a rabbi’s teaching on religious matters but need not do so in his own field of expertise, fishing. The fishermen had labored with a dragnet at night, which should have caught them many more fish than Jesus’ instructions in 5:5. Sources suggest that fish were more easily caught at night than in the day in the lake of Galilee; they would be sold in the morning.

Luke 5:6 NIV
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.
New Testament 5:1–11—Fishers of People

5:6. Jesus’ multiplication of food and of creatures has Old Testament precedent (e.g., food—Ex 16:13; 2 Kings 4:1–7, 42–44; creatures—Ex 8:6, 17, 24; 10:13).

Luke 5:7 NIV
So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
New Testament 5:1–11—Fishers of People

5:7. Because the overhead cost of equipment was high, fishermen often worked together in cooperatives; families would sometimes work together to increase their profits. Other fishing cooperatives are known from ancient Palestine, so it is not unusual for Simon and Andrew to be in business with the family of Zebedee (5:10). Men working from more than one boat could let down larger nets than those working from only one; fish could then be emptied onto the boat or the nets hauled ashore.

Luke 5:8 NIV
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
Luke 5:9 NIV
For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken,
New Testament 5:1–11—Fishers of People

5:8–9. Moses, Gideon and Jeremiah were all overwhelmed by their initial calls; but Peter’s excuse is especially like Isaiah’s (Is 6:5) and fits Luke’s emphasis (Lk 5:20, 30–32).

Luke 5:10 NIV
and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
New Testament 5:1–11—Fishers of People

5:10. “Fishers of people” could allude to two Old Testament texts (Jer 16:16; Hab 1:15), transforming an image of impending judgment into one of rescue from that judgment; but Jesus is probably just transforming their vocation as fishermen, as God made Moses and David “shepherds” of his people.

Luke 5:11 NIV
So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
New Testament 5:1–11—Fishers of People

5:11. Fishermen made a better-than-average income (even if they had had a bad night—5:5), so leaving their job is an act of radical commitment that they would expect to adversely affect them economically.


Matthew 4:22 NIV
and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

They had no idea

Just three and a half years later...

John 14:1 NIV
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
John 14:2 NIV
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
John 14:3 NIV
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
John 14:4 NIV
You know the way to the place where I am going.”
John 14:5 NIV
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
John 14:6 NIV
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:7 NIV
If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
John 14:8 NIV
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
John 14:9 NIV
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
John 14:10 NIV
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
John 14:11 NIV
Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.
John 14:12 NIV
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
John 14:13 NIV
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 14:14 NIV
You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Next, the wild ride, then the promise fulfilled.

Acts 2:14 NIV
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
Acts 2:15 NIV
These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!
Acts 2:16 NIV
No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
Acts 2:17 NIV
“ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
Acts 2:18 NIV
Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
Acts 2:19 NIV
I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
Acts 2:20 NIV
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
Acts 2:21 NIV
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Not just fishers of men, they became heroes and hero-makers

Celebrating THE Hero

Colossians 1:15 NIV
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
Colossians 1:16 NIV
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
Colossians 1:17 NIV
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:18 NIV
And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
Colossians 1:19 NIV
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
Colossians 1:20 NIV
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Related Media
Related Sermons