Fisherman

The importance of fish in the Bible is well substantiated. In the Book of Genesis, we find that fish are the first creatures to appear......

The importance of fish in the Bible is well substantiated. In the Book of Genesis, we find that fish are the first creatures to appear (Genesis.1:2). They are the only species not taken into the ark, suggesting that they were self-supporting! In Leviticus we read of laws regarding which fish are kosher and which are not.

Descriptions of methods of fishing are given in the Book of Habakkuk: a hook, net and seine are used (Habakkuk.1:15). Job sarcastically asks if one can capture a leviathan with a hook (Job.40:25).

In 1Kings, fish are associated with the wisdom of Solomon (1Kings.5:13). In the Book of Tobit, Tobiah is told, Cut the fish open and take out its gall, heart and liver and keep them with you...its gall, heart and liver make useful medicines (Tobit.6:3-7). Later, Tobiah uses the fish gall to remove cataracts from his father's eyes.

When Jerusalem was rebuilt by Nehemiah after the Babylonian captivity, a Fish Gate was built into its wall (Neh.3:3). Fishermen are mentioned by Jeremiah, when speaking of bringing back the Israelites from Babylon: Look! I will send many fishermen, says the Lord, to catch them (Jeremiah.16:16). And a large fish prevents Jonah from going on his cruise of the Mediterranean and lands him back where he should have gone in the first place.

Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.(Mt.4:18-20)

Jesus walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.(Mt.4:21-22)

Jesus preached in terms of fishing, almost echoing Jeremiah when he says to Peter and the other fishermen: From now on you will be catching men(Mt.4:19). Two miraculous catches of fish are related in Luke.5:1-11 and John.21:1-8. All of the gospel writers attest that he fed thousands with fish and bread. He compares the kingdom of heaven to a dragnet (Mt.13:47-48). He paid taxes with a coin found in the mouth of a fish (Mt.17:27).

Jesus is depicted as preaching from fishing boats and sailing in fishing boats. The crowds that followed him carried bread and fish (Mk.6:35-40). The hungry asked for fish (Lk.11:1). Jesus was given fish to eat after his resurrection in Jerusalem (Lk.24:42), and he cooked fish for his disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (Jn.21:9). He traveled to and from places in the company of fishermen. And, most importantly, Jesus choose fishermen for the important job of spreading his word and building his church.(Mt.12-23)

"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.


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