Last Sunday we continued the sermon series “Six Things Jesus Is…” by talking about how Jesus is a Fisher of Men. In the Gospel lesson from Mark 1, Jesus tells his disciples he will make them fishers of men. Jesus will make them fishers of men because they are going to be His followers and He is the ultimate fisher of men.

A note about fishing in Jesus’ day. People fished in several ways. Most often, they would cast a net. They might drop a line (the kind most of us are familiar with). They might even use a harpoon. But regardless of the method, the point is the same: catch fish.

Jesus is fishing for people and wants to teach us to do the same. How does Jesus catch people? Compassion, acceptance, and patience.

Jesus is indiscriminately compassionate. In Mark 10, we’re told of a blind man calling out to Jesus. Jesus said to the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man wanted to see. Jesus often asked people how he could be of service to them. Compassion radiated from Jesus.

Jesus also accepted people. He didn’t call their bad actions good, but he did not jump down their throats, either. He welcomed them as people who are desired and loved by God. Jesus shared meals with tax collectors, prostitutes, and other “sinners.”

Jesus is compassionate, accepting, and persistent. Many times, his disciples did not understand what he was trying to say. He might have made a snarky remark like, “Are you still without understanding?” but then he would patiently explain what he was talking about.

This is how Jesus fishes for people: with compassion, acceptance, and patience. Of course, the truth is mixed in there, too. Jesus came full of grace and truth.

One day a leper approached Jesus and asked to be healed. Jesus reached out and touched the leper. Under normal circumstances, this would have made Jesus “unclean.” But Jesus flips the script. Instead of the uncleanliness of the leper traveling to Jesus when they touched, the healing power of Jesus traveled to the leper. Rather than Jesus being made unclean, the leper was made clean.

This is the way love works. This is why love is the way Jesus fishes. John the Apostle writes about it using the metaphor of light. Light shines into darkness and darkness does not overcome it. Dark always loses to light.

Let me ask you this: If Jesus has caught your heart, how has He done it? Rules and consequences may get people’s attention, but it is love that wins them over. It is Jesus’ compassion, acceptance, and persistence that wins our hearts.

If we are going to fish like Jesus, it will be with compassion, acceptance, and persistence. We fish that way because that is how Jesus caught us.

If you want to hear the whole sermon, this link will take you straight to the start of the sermon on our YouTube channel:

Grace and peace to you!