Thou Shalt Catch Men


In this text, we find both a spiritual and a practical way to reach people, and more particularly teens at Teen Connection.  The Lord uses an illustration from a real fishing experience to teach us about bringing souls to Christ.  Jesus told his disciples, Thou shalt catch men.  And that’s what we need to do.

This episode in the life of Christ opens with people pressed upon the Lord to hear him preach.  You and I have to remember that what we have is not an alternative to someone else’s religion; they have nothing and we have everything because they don’t have the Lord and we do.  Everyone you know has a spiritual need and they know it.  They may not know what to do about it or they may neglect it, but they have a need nonetheless.

So, what do we learn about catching men from this fishing expedition?

You’ll never catch fish out of the boat and washing nets – v.2 – maintaining your equipment in good working order is important but it can consume all of your time if you aren’t careful – in the ministry it can become overwhelming to keep up with all of the administration and neglect the souls.

Get Jesus on board and the fishing picks up – v.3 – the disciples had fished all night and caught nothing – when Jesus came on board, they caught two boat loads – there are a lot of soul winning programs – we need to work his plan not our program.

We have to obey him completely – v.4-5 – Jesus told Peter to let down his “nets” [plural] – he let down the “net” [singular] – this was a problem – Jesus had so many fish for them to catch that the one net broke under the pressure – too often in fishing for men we don’t realize that there are enough “fish” out there for all of us to let down a net – if we all truly ask enough prospects, Jesus will get up a crowd – and the larger the crowd [brought by his command and not our scheme], undoubtedly the more souls, and the more souls, the more folks to disciple in the church.

And when we do, we’ll have success – v.6-9 – the net broke, they filled both ships and they were astonished with how many fish they caught – can you imagine so many souls brought to the Lord that you and I are actually astonished with the results – it’s been a long time since I have been astonished with a harvest of souls – I’d love to be astonished again – remember that these poor souls need Jesus – so we need to do all that he says and all that we can to get them here.

What the disciples did with fish we can do with men – v.10 – Jesus said, “from henceforth thou shalt catch men” – in the same way that he directed the disciples to catch these fish he will direct us to catch men.

Conclusion: The disciples loved him so much that they forsook all and followed him – some of you may forsake all and follow him – we have a number of teens on fire for the Lord – they may forsake all and follow the Lord – wouldn’t it be fabulous to see a good number of our teens preaching here and abroad for the Lord!!