Fishers of men

When I was younger I had no career map, no life plan, no goals and objectives.  I had, and have, no university degree.  I had, and have, little in the way of vocational qualifications.  I used to talk about having attended the University of Life.  But that assumes some qualification in knowing how to live properly – and I have yet to determine what “properly” means.

Not having a life-plan was frowned upon.  It still is, I think.  There is a common perception that to be a success you need a plan.  So not having a plan means two things: I have no way of measuring success – and I probably never will be successful.

It took me many years to move past a feeling of slight inadequacy.  To reach a place where “success” was not even relevant to living and loving.  And – if there is successful living – for me it is that: to live unshackled from what society says I should be.  To be unshackled and free to be who I am.

“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea–for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.“ Mark 1:14-20

I will make you fish for people.

When I was growing up the version taught used “fishers of men”.  But I think this version is more honest.  I will make you being an external intervention.  I will “be made” – I will become something I wasn’t and – perhaps – never would be.  Fish for people is a real and “in the present” activity.  Something I will do and am doing and did do.  And how do I “fish”?

Looking around there is commercial/industrial fishing.  There is offshore, inshore, net, line, net, rod, long-line, professional and hobby fishing.  Which one do I do – and how do I measure my success in the doing?

And immediately we are back to life-plans, goals and objectives and the measure of success we impose on so much of our living: numbers.  How many, and over what time period?  What frequency over what time period?  Is the trend up or down?  And what qualifies as a “catch” as opposed to “the one that got away”?


”I will change your life and your perception of success, I will invite you to live a life where so much of what you have been taught I will unteach.  I invite you to follow me without having a clue what that entails, what recompense you will receive, or through which way-points you will journey.  I invite you to see people for what they are, who they were and who they can become.  I invite you to follow me and allow yourself to become something you never thought you could ever be.  I will make you find the elusive “fish” of your own soul deep within.  I will make you become the person you never thought you could be.”

What more can I give than me?

Or is “success” how many souls I “save”?  What more precious gift can I offer than everything I am?  Or is it more “precious” to “give” everything I have … but not everything I could do …?  Is it more precious to target everyone I can net and save … to work tirelessly … to measure how much and how often … but not to give “me” … to not give everything I Am?

I will make you fish for the person you could become if …  the person you would love to be if … the person you never knew was possible unless … I can make all of this real if … you allow.

Why do we make it all about you when it is really all about me?

You are my “success” –

I Am the greatest gift.



8 thoughts on “Fishers of men

  1. As always, Paul, an entertaining post. I might argue just a bit that Jesus was and is the greatest gift to all, but each of us may be the greatest gift to those around us! The challenge we are left with as fishermen is to just cast the line (or net) in with a little bait on it. The most important bait is not a stream of scriptures or some miracle or answer to prayer. The most effective bait is the life I live on a day to day basis, especially through the hard times. This is what the fish will be attracted to!


  2. Love this Paul…
    Makes me think how children often look like their parents. And their actions are often a reflection of good or bad parenting. “Follow me”

    Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? Reminds me of this again.

    “The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.

    “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    Maybe why the enemy works so hard to make tempting us. But remembering we won’t be tested beyond what we can bare. God is still in control.

    Our parenting Father.

    (sorry for my indulgent ramble, but thanks for it also! )


    • Denine, there is never anything indulgent in your words 0 and always thank YOU!

      I find less and less I factor in “the enemy”, and more and more sense a control within me. I can say yes and I can say no. I can be tested or I can simply live focused on following and not even realise the “testing”. Because – as with our children – I love them more as they find the confidence to “be in control”, and where they don’t I love them more and invite them to be free. And we each seem to thrive on that freedom as we find love gives more with freedom than control.



  3. Pingback: Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet | Belgian Biblestudents - Belgische Bijbelstudenten

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