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Minister's Minute: Fishing, not catching

Attracting the faithful an unpredictable effort
Religion on the inside column
A woman is pictured reading the holy bible.

And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19).

I will begin my column this month by admitting that I am not a particularly good fisher, but thanks to the plentiful pink salmon run this year, even an angler of my modest abilities can catch a fish!

Jesus’s first two disciples, Peter and Andrew, were fishermen. When Jesus called them to follow, he invited them on a fishing expedition the likes of which they never could have imagined.

Notice carefully the words that Jesus chose. He told these two men that they will be “fishing” for people, not “catching.”

There is a huge difference.

I have seen fishers with even the best equipment and excellent casting and reeling technique walk away empty handed. Even for professionals, like Peter and Andrew, there was never a guarantee of a catch.

While many came to follow Jesus during his earthly ministry, there were those who mocked, ridiculed and rejected him and his message. There were those who ignored him. Such is also the case today.

The good news of Jesus Christ and his coming kingdom will not be received by many — perhaps even most — who hear it, but that doesn’t mean Christians should just give up and stop fishing. God calls them to continue to cast their rods, proclaim the message of the gospel faithfully, and to love and witness in Jesus’ name.

The fish will come, people will hear. God will make it so!