And he said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Matthew 4:19-20
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Along with being a Clint Eastwood movie, those words also describe fishing. They do if you listen to Captain Rodney Solomon.
Captain Solomon plies his fishing trade off the coast of Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico. As a fisherman, Rodney knows there are days when you can take your limit in a few minutes.
That's the good.
There are times when Captain Solomon, like the disciples, has fished for hours and never brought in anything.
That's the bad.
And the ugly? Recently, Captain Solomon went fishing and landed a guided missile. Yup, that's right -- an Air Force guided missile. Seeing a hole in the device, Rodney assumed the missile had gone off. He felt pretty safe keeping it on the deck of his ship as a piece of conversation.
Captain Solomon's assumption was wrong -- almost dead wrong.
To shorten a long story, the Air Force confirmed the missile, a Sidewinder, was fit as a fiddle and in fine working order. Before they disarmed it, the Air Force assured Captain Solomon that his missile was perfectly capable of exploding and distributing him, along with his ship, across a large expanse of the Gulf.
In truth, a person hardly ever knows what he's going to catch, does he?
That had to be the feeling of the disciples when they went out fishing for men. The Holy Spirit brought in big sinners, little sinners, experienced sinners, and novice sinners. There were times when the fishing was good, when it was bad, and when the fish got ugly.
There were two things the disciples knew: first, the Savior wanted them to fish. Second, they knew that if you don't go fishing, you won't catch anything.
That may sound obvious, but it is true.
A person, a church, Christ's disciples -- all have to go fishing if they want to catch fish. If they stay home, the odds are God's nets are going to be empty.
This is why today we pray the Lord will send us out and He will make the catch bountiful.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You have told Your disciples to fish for souls. Grant us the willingness to follow Your instruction and send the Holy Spirit so the catch may be blessed. In Your Name, I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries