Catching Souls For Jesus

Luke 5: 1-11
Col 1:9-14 / Ps 98:2-6

Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.
(Luke 5:10)

It isn’t the prize, it isn’t the cost,
Our love for Christ’s what matters most.
He called our name we knew not then,
When we became fishers of men.

As Jesus taught by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people started crowding around Him. Seeing two boats at the water’s edge, left there by the fishermen who were washing their nets, He got into one of them, the one belonging to Peter. There he sat down and taught the people on the shore. When he had finished speaking, He said to Peter, “Put out into deep water, and let the nets down for a catch.” Peter answered that they had worked all night but caught nothing. “But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they did, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. Even the other boat which came to help them was filled to near sinking. When Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Depart from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” But Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.


How simple the way of the Lord Jesus in calling His foremost apostles. First, He made them hear the Good News of salvation as He used their boat for a pulpit to teach the crowd. Then He perfomed a miracle in their sight, letting them catch all the fish that their boats could possibly carry. Then He gave them a vision to strive for a higher calling, catching souls for the kingdom, instead of remaining as mere fishermen.

Like Peter, our first reaction to the call of discipleship is our sense of inadequacy and unworthiness. “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” This humble attitude however, is what endears us to the Lord. Later, as we come to realize what a mighty and faithful God we serve, we begin to gain self-confidence that “we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us” (Phil. 4:13).

As messengers of the Good News, we will face many challenges. But as long as we know Who we are following, and Whose power is sustaining us, we can be assured of success in our mission. The power of the Holy Spirit, as our Lord Jesus promised, before he ascended into heaven, will bring in a large “catch of fish,” just as the narrative about the growth of the church in the Book of Acts confirms. This is the kind of assurance we feel when we are “sent forth” – like giving a talk in a Christian Life Program in our Brotherhood, or sharing our life testimony in a breakfast meeting. We simply fill the role of becoming “fishers of men.”

I am a sinful man, O Lord. But if You ask me to fish for souls, I am certain that Your grace and the power of Your Holy Spirit will bring forth a rich harvest. Amen.

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