I. Fish are a substantial part of Gods creation (Genesis 1:20-23.28).
II. Fish are very important as food (Luke 24:42. John 21:6-13).
A. The occupation of four of the Lord s apostles (Mark I: l6--20; Matt .4:18--22, Luke 5:1--11).
B. Fish and fishing in the world now is of great importance: World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 6.
III. FOUR OF THE MIRACLES OF JESUS INVOLVED FISH.
A. Tribute shekel taken from a fish s mouth (Matthew 17:27).
B. He fed the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish (Mark 6:34--44, Matt . 14:17. Luke 9:l3~ John 6:9).
C. Great niultitude of fish taken in first draft (Luke 5:5,6).
D. Second draft took 153 (John 2 1:5-1 I).
IV. JESUS ENDORSED THE STORY OF JONAH AND THE GREAT FISH (Matthew 12:40).
I. THE CALL OF JESUS: "TO BECOME FISHERS OF MEN"
A The invitation "Come ye after me" (Mark 1: l7~ Matt. 4:19).
B The challenge: "Thou shalt catch ('take alive') men" (Luke 510
1. His disciples were called to higher labor: Men are immeasurably more valuable than fish, and it is transcendently more important that we "catch" men than fish
2. Fish live if not taken: They are caught to die and to be consumed
3. Thus did the Pharisees catch proselytes (Matt 2315).
C. Our calling To catch men to live; They die if not taken.
1. Invite them to hear Chnst and "come follow me." (Matt. 4: 19; 17:5. 16:24. 28 19.20. 11 28-30)
2. Must catch their minds and hearts from Satan and death.
3. Must win their lives and souls for Chnst and eternity.
D. The vital quest ion What kind of fishers of men are we?
1. There may be, and probably is, a reason why Jesus selected those fishermen to be his disciples
2. The qualifications required for success in one field are similar to those needed in the other
II. SOME ESSENTIALS FOR SUCCESSFUL FISHING.
A. Faith that works, through love of fishing and its objectives.
1. A strong desire to catch fish, demonstrated (James 2:18).
2. Do you fish by faith or by works?
B. Skill developed by wise use of knowledge (Heb.5: 14).
1. Familiarity with the habitat of fish.
2. Knowledge of good location, experience on the water; etc.
3. Attractive bait and good equipment kept in constant readiness (Rom. 1:14,15, Acts 21:13,1 Peter 3:15).
C. An atmosphere or climate conducive to good fishing.
1. The North Pole, for instance, would he a poor place to catch fresh water bass with a fly rod (Matt. 10:14; Luke 10:11, Acts 13:5 1).
2. During a storm on a lake is not the best time for fishing; however, storms demonstrate some things (Matt. 7:24-27; 5: 14-16).
D. Willingness to sacrifice and suffer hardship to "bring them in (Luke 9:23).
1. Ready to go, devote time, effort and means.
2. Effective fishing, although pleasant and re warding, is serious business to those who consistently succeed.
E. Willingness to wait for "due season" (Gal. 6:9).
1. Patience is a must for successful fishing.
2. Not every day or night is as productive as another.
3. Results cannot always be accurately predicted.
III. KINDS OF FISH WE MAY CATCH.
(This part of this lesson was suggested by a chapel talk by Paul Hunton at David Lipscomb College in 1947 or 1948).
A. The Big Mouth Bass.
1. A very good fish, but his outstanding part is mouth.
2. In man, this is dangerous "A busybody is a person headed for hell, mouth first '--Dan Fogarty, July 5. 1960.
3. 1 Peter 4:15. 310-12: Proverbs 15:28: 18:21; 29:11; Col 4:6;Matthew 12:36. 37
B. The Yellow Cat.
1. Prefers dark or dingy water, not clear mountain streams. is at home in mud.
2. Some people love rumor, suspicion, dirty stories. etc do not have high ideals, desires, ambitions travel low road (Titus 1.15; Romans 12:9, 21; James 1:19-21).
3. Do not allow your mind to he poisoned by gossip, and do not be "high pressured into low living." Cf. 201h Century Christian, June, 1960, pg. 3.
C. The Scavenger. Cf. World Book Encyclopedia, IV, 142.
1. He devours refuse, filth, , garbage from the mouth of the parrot fish.
2. Some human minds delight in, gravitate toward the sordid, prefer to see the low, unclean, mean: Looking for the worst, they miss the best -- the pure, true, excellent, beautiful.
3. Philippians4:8; 1 Thess. 5:21,22.
4. Such men always see "the black dot" on a clean hand or page, not the hand or page. -- Ancient Faith In Conflict, p. 224.
D. The Transparent Fish. Cf. World Book Encyclopedia, VI, p. 143.
1. Can see plants through his flesh: not much substance.
2. Some people have not much depth of character: Unstable, shifty, hot and cold; perhaps only pretenders, actors, etc.
3. Consider Psalm 1;I Cor. 15:58; 16:13; Eph. 4:14.
E. The Swordfish. Cf. World Book, XVI, p. 143.
1. Has a long sword like beak, "formed by the bones of the upper jaw:" is always armed: not easily defeated or captured: and is much respected
2. Some Christians have armed themselves and stay ready for battle service for Christ (Acts 21: 13: Phil . 1:16: Eph. 610-17, 1 Pet 3.15).
F. The Flying Fish. Cf. World Book. VI, p. 142.
1. He glides above the water, upward toward heaven: seeks to rise above the masses (enemies): travels the highest possible path. with aid of 'it strong tail and wing like fins.
2. Our calling demands this kind of outlook and manner of life (Matt. 5:20. Phil. l:27; Col 3:1-3; I Timothy 4:12).
3. The Christian calling is the high road (Eph 41--3. Heb.12 22)
4. Our main citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20. Heb. 11:1- 6)
G. The Porpoise. Cf. World Book. XIV, pg 608
1. He looks like a shark, but is harmless and sharks fear him He is thus a powerful but good influence in the water.
2. Christians look like sinners, but will not harm you; Sinners are uncomfortable and children are safe in their presence (Matt 4:11; 5:l3-l6; James 4.17).
H. The Channel Trout
1. He swims against the current in rushing water.
2. Christians are flooded with temptations: Do we resist them, or just drift downward (Hebrews 2:l, 2; James 4 7)?
3. Christians must be able to endure great trials and persecutions with great faith (I Corinthians I 5:58; 16: 13,14. Romans 8.3l-39; James 1:2-4; 1:19- 25; 2 Timothy 2:3, 4).
4. You know someone who can (Matt. 13 21,2 Timothy 3:12).