This semester at Concordia University – Wisconsin, I am taking an introduction to writing class for this class we are required to have at least one blog post a week. (Lucky me! I’m suppose to be posting every week anyway!) We can post about anything but it’s suppose to be an “argument” of some kind. Basically, my professor doesn’t want me posting about my ever-so-exciting life, no matter how much you all want to here about it! So this week I am going to post about a topic that I have been thinking about since the “Watermarked” retreat.
“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fisherman, And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” – Matthew 4:18-20 (ESV)
Water plays a very big role throughout all of scripture. Water both destroys things and saves things. The first time that water appears in the Bible is the second verse of Genesis. “The Spirit of the Lord was hovering over the face of the waters.” Water was used to destroy the earth aside from Noah, his family, and the animals Noah was told to have on the ark. Moses takes water from a rock. Jonah must be thrown into raging waters in order for the boat to not be destroyed. Water is also right at the beginning of the New Testament with John the Baptist and the Baptism of Jesus. Then again there is water in chapter four. Jesus is walking along the Sea of Galilee and he sees fishermen.
What does a fisherman do? He catches fish. He pulls the fish out of their home, the water, in order for other men might have food to survive. But Jesus says something strange, something you and I would probably not listen to. He says, “Follow me, I will make you fishers of men.” Follow me? Fishers of men? Peter and Andrew had a steady job as fisherman, there is always need for more fish. Immediately they leave their job, their source of income, no questions asked. He walks along the sea a little longer and has two more leave their boats and follow him. What is this nonsense about fishers of men? What does that even mean? Men don’t live in the water and we certainly would never eat others.
Jesus plays with this idea throughout the Gospel of Mathew. In Chapter 8 the disciples get scared of water so Jesus gets up and calms the waters for them. In Chapter 13, Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the seas and gathered fish of every kind. Just in case I haven’t gotten my point across as much as I’d like it leads up to the very end of Matthew where the Resurrected Christ gives the apostles the great commission to baptize and teach.
Where fishermen take the fish out of the water to kill and eat them, Fishers of Men pull men into the waters of baptism for eternal life. The raging waters of God’s wrath were calmed with Jesus’ death on the cross. From the water that flows from His side we are cleansed and made as white as snow(more on that later). Pastors, todays Fishers of Men take the command of Christ and pull us into the saving waters of Baptism.
Prayer for Life as a baptized child of God
Merciful Father, through Holy Baptism You called us to be Your own possession. Grant that our lives may evidence the working of your Holy Spirit in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, according to the image of Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.