Thou Shalt Catch Men Luke 5:1-11 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
We are a seed sowing ministry for sure. The radio, internet, nursing homes, port ministry, fishers of men, Del Mar college and so forth are all broadcasting the seed and publishing the word. Yet, in addition to sowing the seed we need to be “catching men.” In other words, when you go fishing you don’t just chum the water so that you can feed a bunch of fish, you go with the intention of catching some. People have said to me, “I don’t like fishing; I like catching.”
So, we are going to look at catching men. Some object because they say God gives the increase. Indeed he does. However, Paul, who said that, also said, “I caught you,” [2 Cor 12:16]. So, there is definitely something to what Jesus said to his disciples when he said, “Thou shalt catch men.” From the context of Lk 5:10, here is how thou shalt catch men. You catch men by:
Fishing for men – Lk 5:4 – the Lord said, “Let down your nets.” If you don’t go fishing for men you will never catch men. Notice that when Jesus came up to the disciples they were out of their boats and they were “washing their nets,” [Lk 5:2]. It is possible to do too much net washing and not enough fishing.
Fishing where and when the Lord directs – Lk 5:5 – Peter said, “… at thy word, I will let down the net.” They didn’t catch anything when they were out fishing at their direction and on their time schedule. Fishing is not like seed sowing in this regard. It’s always a good time to sow the seed but to catch men you have to be led by the Lord. He leads you where to fish [“Launch out into the deep”] and he leads you when to fish [“let down your nets”]. You must not resist his leading if you want to catch men. If Peter had not let down the net he would have still had nothing.
Fishing with partners – Lk 5:7 – “they beckoned to their partners… that they should come and help them.” The more lines in the water the more likely you are to catch fish. Those who don’t know as much about fishing learn from those who know more by fishing with them.
Fishing with humility – Lk 5:8 – when you are fishing for fish and you are a good fisherman, there is a sense of pride. Look at the pictures of tournament winners. Listen to the pros. It’s all about them. But when you are fishing for men, the better you do the humbler you must be. The disciples caught “a great multitude of fishes,” [Lk 5:6] and yet Peter “fell down at Jesus’ knees” and proclaimed, “I am a sinful man, O Lord,” [Lk 5:8]. That’s the right attitude.
Forsaking things that interfere with fishing – Lk 5:11 – they “forsook all.” Things in your life that keep you from fishing have to go if you want time to fish as the Lord directs.
Conclusion: like Peter and the other disciples who were with him, you will be “astonished” [Lk 5:9] at the draught of fish you will take [Lk 5:6-7]. You say, “I don’t believe it.” Jesus said, “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” You’ll never catch them if you don’t go.