I think today was my favorite Christmas day so far. Our boys LOVE to fish. One of their favorite things about our new home is that just around the corner there is a small stocked fishing pond. And by stocked I mean there are some nice big bass in there!
Whether in our little pond or down at the river property we always have a good time fishing. I have even managed to get Ian brave enough to hook a worm! He is like his mom and enjoys sitting and watching the water, waiting for a bite. The other two boys are like dad and are constantly reeling the line in and casting our again. Of course Ian and I always catch more fish 🙂 So when the boys found Elfie this morning doing some fishing of his own they were really excited! Our craft today was a small wooden fish ornament and our scripture was Luke 5:1-11:
One day Jesus was standing by the Sea of Galilee. The people crowded around him and listened to the word of God. 2 Jesus saw two boats at the edge of the water. They had been left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into the boat that belonged to Simon. Jesus asked him to go out a little way from shore. Then he sat down in the boat and taught the people.
4 When he finished speaking, he turned to Simon. Jesus said, “Go out into deep water. Let down the nets so you can catch some fish.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught a large number of fish. There were so many that their nets began to break. 7 So they motioned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees. “Go away from me, Lord!” he said. “I am a sinful man!” 9 He and everyone with him were amazed at the number of fish they had caught. 10 So were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who worked with Simon.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore. Then they left everything and followed him.
We talked about how frustrated Simon and the other fishermen must have been after fishing all night and not catching anything. We are familiar with this frustration to an extent. I told the boys that these men fished for a living so the fact that they hadn’t caught anything was really bad for them. Johnathan said if he was Simon he would have rolled his eyes at Jesus for telling him to throw his nets back out. Haha, I love his honesty. Mostly because that is probably what most of us would have done, frustrated that this random dude thought he knew better than me about fishing. What a sight it must have been when the fish started pouring in! So many fish that the nets were tearing and the boats were sinking. Ian said that must have been 50-999-100 fish!
Our conversation turned a little to trusting God when he tells us to do something. Trusting Him and obeying what he leads us to do as well. When we trust and obey Jesus will always take care of us and bless us with more than we thought possible. And then came my favorite part of this story…..
Jesus did something else really spectacular. He told the fishermen that if they followed him, he would make them fishers of men. What did that mean? I wonder what the fishermen thought when He said that? They knew how to catch fish, but men? The Bible tells us that when we follow Jesus we also learn how to be “fishers of men”. Instead of catching fish we catch men………We tell people about Jesus so that they too want to follow Him! We talked about how they could talk to their friends about Jesus and that would make them fishermen for Jesus! They very much liked that idea……..the gospel starting at a young age!!! (my dad will like that one) I asked the boys, “What do you need to catch fish?” The boys responded that we would need a net or a fishing pole and of course some big worms. But what kind of bait do you use to catch men? They looked at me a little puzzled and took a minute to think about their answers. And then their answers just about made my heart burst! Ian said “JESUS”. And Johnathan followed saying, “the Bible”. I think those are pretty awesome answers!
We finished up the story talking about how the men responded to Jesus. How could they not follow a man who seemed to know everything? The fishermen left their boats and everything they had and followed Jesus. They became Jesus’ disciples and learned from Jesus how to become “fishers of men”. Our service action for the day was that we are going to talk to our friends about Jesus and His love for us. This Christmas season we are going to be intentional about reaching others just like the disciples were!
Our lesson tied in so well with our sermon this morning at church……I love it when God pulls things together for us! The big picture: A humble heart for others, by having the humble mind of Christ, will lead people to Jesus.
Just as an added tip: Fishing can be fun, but it can be a little messy and smelly. But when we catch men for Jesus we don’t have to clean them; Jesus takes care of that part. 🙂