Jesus, in the call of Peter and Andrew to become his followers, said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matt.4:19. Let’s list some various aspects needed to be a fisher of man.
First, you need a pole to fish with, which is of course, teaching. The Lord has ordained that teaching, is to be the method of reaching the lost. All of us in time are to be teachers, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” Heb.5:12. If we can open our mouths to talk to our neighbors about everything under the sun. Then surely we can open our mouths to talk to them about their souls and the Lord Jesus and his word!
Secondly, we need “bait” to fish with. This is of course is the gospel message, the good news that man can be forgiven through Jesus Christ, this is our “enticement” to men, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.” John 12:32-33. That’s what Jesus told the apostles to do, Mk.16:15, Matt.28:19.
Another aspect needed in fishing, is patience or perseverance. People who go fishing have the temperament to stick to it, when maybe others give up if the fish are not biting. There are some men who will finally take the “bait”, if we would just hang in there. Paul said we need patience in teaching those caught in the snares of the Devil, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” 2 Tim.2:25-26.
Finally, the reward of fishing is stated here in 3 Jn. 4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
— Dan McKibben