Dale Appleby

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Weekly Reflections

Fishers? 26 Jan 14


Fishing for people. It's an idea that fishers could understand. No longer looking for fish. Now looking for people. But for what purpose? Presumably not to kill and eat.

Fishing as part of Jesus' consortium. Looking for people to join him. Fish that would turn into fishers. Or farmers. Or lamps. Or salt – but not pillars of salt.

So many ways to picture what it means to follow Jesus. What would he say to the writer (the scribe)? To the teacher? To the engineer? To the nurse?

Of course fishing for people was not the only thing these fishers did. Some of them became famous writers. One in fact wrote some of the most profound books written in any language - ever.

All of them became speakers. Sometimes quietly in ones or twos and others to large crowds and powerful rulers.

But becoming fishers of people involved a few steps. First they had to follow Jesus and leave their nets as a secondary occupation. Then they had to watch and listen to him so that they could get the idea of what he was doing and who he was. Then they had to have a go at doing the same things themselves.

And after the teaching was sufficient and Jesus returned to where he came from they were given God's Holy Spirit himself. And then they could really get on with the job.

Modern people fishers could do worse than follow that plan: make sure you've left everything else as secondary occupations so that you can follow Jesus. Watch and listen to what Jesus said and did (read the gospels). Understand what he was doing (keep reading the whole bible). Make sure you believe what he said for yourself. Make sure that God's Holy Spirit has been given to you. Then keep on with the job of looking for people who will follow Jesus.

And you could be a writer as well. Or a teacher. Or a problem solver. Or a healer. And you could be all that while you were following your secondary occupation.


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