Why Did Jesus Choose Fishermen?
The apostles weren’t all fishermen. One of the coolest things I have learned in the past few years is that Bartholomew is a nickname, “son of the furrow;” so he is a farmer, a “country boy,” we’d say. But fishermen are where Jesus started… Peter, Andrew, James and John, the first ones called, were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee.
A good bud, Mike Adams and I have spent a lot of time fishing creeks together. He’s the one who got me into it. We have also spent a long time thinking about all the ways fishing seems to capture a lot of the evangelistic/disciple-making task. On the discipleship side, you have to fish to fish. You’ve got to do it. You’ve got to learn.
In terms of evangelism, Mike and I have come to two conclusions. Our creek fishing has given us a metaphor for some of the work: going farther and farther upstream for two things: to get to the last place there are any fish to catch (that’s the Methodist in us), and to catch the biggest fish in the smallest hole. A pound and a half smallmouth just hits different when you have snookered it into lunging for a crawfish in a pool no bigger than your living room. It seems more fun than catching a much bigger one in a lake. And then there’s the guy who caught the 46 inch muskie in about 2 feet of water…
I won’t lie, though. My favorite fishing ground is the Mexican Gulf. The Mississippi Sound is such an amazing place to fish. It has taken me a while to understand tides and currents, but I am getting there. I have a great captain, Earl “Whoop’ Em” McDaniel. (Shameless plug: if you go to Biloxi—and you should— check out his Whipasnapa Charters. He will put you on the fish.) A couple years ago, Jessie Sue and I were 60 miles offshore fishing the heck out of a natural gas rig. Have mercy, we came back with so many kinds of snapper— red, vermillion, mangrove— and some drum and sharks to boot. We blasted off from D’Iberville at 4 a.m. The lights of Point Cadet were few but bright. That trip is where I got to thinking in a more systematic way about why Jesus chose fishermen.
They fish anytime, day or night.
They get up early.
They stay out late.
If something is working, they do more of it.
If something is not working, they wait til it does work or they try something different
If they get skunked today, they will be back after it tomorrow
Not afraid of hard work.
Not afraid of getting dirty.
So who’s ready to fish?