Sie sind auf Seite 1von 6

Luke 5:1-11

(5:lOb-ll) The Climax of

This Miracle Story
(5:lOb) The Promise of
Jesus to Peter
Knowing that Peter and the
others now have the kind of mind-set
that is required of a true disciple,
Jesus answers Peter's confession of
sin with this
promise, "Do
not fear, from
now on you will
be catching
The Relation
the Miracle to
the Promise
The Nature of
Mission of the
The Preaching of the Gospel and
the Kingdom of God
Time and again Jesus uses the
images of fishing and dragnets to
denote the preaching of the gospel,
Mat.4:19;Lk.5:10. The manner in
. which the fishiflg is done is the
focus of Jesus' attention. "First the
net is dragged through the sea, and
only after this work has been
sufficiently performed, do the
fishennen go to the shore to inspect
the catch and make proper selection.
This is an image of the way by which
the kingdom comes. Preaching
reveals the kingdom, for it is the
Christ in whose service the 'fishers
of men' are employed. But the
kingdom will come in a different
way from what might be supposed.
This mystery is the real subject of
the parable. Christ, (and the
kingdom with Him), first comes to
gather, and then afterwards, only
after the gathering has been
completed, does He make the
definitive separation and reveal
Himself in His perfect glory."-
Ridderbos, pg. 140.
The Significance of
Preaching as a Fishnet
Only the Gospel of Matthew
contains the parable of the fishnet,
Matthew 13:47-50. "This net was
about two meters in height and
might be up to a hundred meters in
length. The top of the net was held
up by corks, and the bottom was
weighted down. At times, fishermen
fastened one end of the net on shore
while a boat pulled the other end
into the lake, traveling in a half
circle and bringing the net back to
shore. At other times, two boats
went out from the shore, forming a
semicircle with the net, drawing it
together to catch the fish and gather
them into the boats. The use of the
dragnet reqUired the united effort of
a half-dozen men or more. --- The
net drew in the edible fish as well as
the inedible---the good and the bad.
All kinds and sizes of fish were
4'1' THE COUNSEL of Chalcedon t November, 1995
flapping their tails as they were
pulled to shore. Many kinds of fish
were declared unclean according to
Jewish dietary laws ... and had to be
thrown back into the water, -- Only
fish that were marketable were
kept...."- Simon Kistemaker, THE
(Grand Rapids, Mich., Baker Book
House, 1980).
The Universal
and Indiscriminate Preaching
of the Gospel
The Kingdom of God triumphs
in the earth as the gospel of the
kingdom is preached with all its
offers and
inately, to all
people, the
elect and the
alike. The
blessings of
the kingdom
are not
confined to
one ethnic
group, race,
etc. The blessings of the kingdom
are for the whole world. The
disciples are called to nothing less
than making THE WORLD'S
Mat. 28: lSf.
The Mixed Nature of
the Visible Catholic Church
The fishnet of preaching catches
good fish, (elect), and bad f\sh tl1at
will be thrown away,
reprobate). The preaching of the
gospel attracts, by its very nature, all
kinds of people, for one reason or
another. The "wicked" in this
parable, Mat. 13:49-50, are those
"who outwardly adhere to the
church but inwardly have no
connection with the true church.
They may confess with their mouth
the Apostles' Creed, but in their
hearts they lack true faith in Jesus
Christ." - Kistemaker, pg. 61. They
are IN the church but not OF the
from feigned confessors, be revealed
at last. But that moment has not yet
arrived. The last opportunity for
repentance has not yet run out, Lk.
13:6-9. Till then, all false zeal must
be checked, the field must be left to
ripen in patience, the net must be
cast widely, and everything else left
to God in faith, until his hour
comes."- Joachim Jeremias, The
Parables oj Jesus, pg. 226[, (New
York, Charles Scribner's Sons ,
Until the Day of Judgment,
the jUst. Christ warns us in this
parable, says Calvin, that 'it is not
enough to be gathered into the fold
unless we are His true and chosen
sheep.' -- There is only one test, and
only one thing can make us certain
to be numbered among the people
of God. We must receive the Word
into our hearts with true faith and
full response; then that Word will
indeed cause us to be born again
into the new life of the Children of
God."- Wallace, pg. 36f.
The parable of the fishnet "shows
that a large admixture of hypocrites
within the Church is inevitable, and
it encourages us to cast the net of the
Gospel over a wide area to draw in
disciples, even though we know that
we are thereby also
enclosing those who are
"rfJe' eovere;@nty and .om
tfle Kin@of the Kin@dom
.' .' the euccee6 of theGrea,!; "ill{
making a false profession.
We cannot in the process of
evangelism be entirely sure
.' .. ' '" ' , : '_ '.::':. '. _'il
_"! !'!:(,';::;;
The Power fOT the
Mission of the Disciples
Jesus, who now was
calling them to be "fishers
of men," had just performed
a miracle of enabling these
literal fishelmen to catch
an abundance of fish. Jesus
is able t o provide His
diSCiples with all the power
they need to do everything
of separating the good from
the bad. God will ultimately
Commleeion in the advanac(]fHi6 ,1
Kingdom, by which He, thrql.lgh'
church, wil/make
:,,:.', ' '. ' ". Hie own. 4iIfJ9,iplee.", "
do the separation: - Ronald
Wallace, Many Things in
Parables, pg. 36, (New York,
Harper &: Brothers
Publishers, 1955).
The Separation of
All People 011
the Day ofJudgment
Only God on the final Day of
Judgment will infallibly and etemall y
separate the elect from the non-eJect.
And it is this DayofJudgment which
is depicted in Jesus' parable of the
fi shnet. He explains His own
parable: "This is how it will be at the
end of the age. The angels will come
and separate the wiched from the
righteous and throw them into the JielY
ju.T11IUe, where there will be weeping
andgnashingofteeth, "Mat. 13:49-50.
This explanation is almost identical
to that given by Jesus in His
explanation of the parable of the
wheat and the tares, Mat. 13:40-42.
When the Day of Judgment
finally arrives, "then, no longer in a
. servant's form, will the holy
community of God, purged from all
evil men, from false believers, and
"followers of Jesus, go about your
daily task: witness to your
fellowman, whoever he or she may
be; bring them together to the
church; constantly remind them of
the need [or faith and repentance;
and direct their attention to the
judgment day at which time the
final separation hetween the wicked
and the righteous will take place."-
Kistemaker, pg. 62.
"Each of us must make sure that
we ourselves, in the day of
separation, will be numbered among
the elect. It is easy to delude
ourselves in this matter. Let us not
imagine that just because we seem
to be caught in the net of the Church
and because we rub shoulders daily
with those who believe in Christ, we
ourselves necessarily have the Divine
Life stirring within our own hearts,
The Kingdom of God is like a net
widely cast, and membership of the
Church does not guarantee that we
will be numbered in the end among
He has commanded them to do, and
to carry out His world mission
successfully. The sovereignty and
omnipotence of the King of the
Kingdom guarantee the success of
the Great Commission in the
advance of His Kingdom, by which
He, through His church, will make
the worl d's nations His own
"The gospel is the spiritual and
sovereign power of the kingdom.
The gospel is the Word of God
which is revealed in Jesus Christ.
Because He is the Word of God par
excell ence, He is also the One Who
alone can preach the gospel
(effectively-J CMIll). This gospel He
. preaches through the Church which
He calls into being. --- Christ is not
a powerless agent of the almighty
Word of God Who brings a word so
weak that it is dependent on man's
will for its ultimate effect. This is no
gospel at all. The gospel is the
November, 1995 t THE COUNSEL of Chalcedon t 5
POWER of God unto salvation, Rom.
1:16. It is therefore the sovereign
and irresistible and efficacious
instrument in the hands of the
exalted Christ through which He
accomplishes all the Father's
purpose."- Herman C. Hanko, The
Mysteries of the Kingdom, pg. 57f,
(Grand Rapids, Mich., Reformed
Free Publishing Association, 1975).
The: Meaning ofuDo Not Fear"
Compassionate Savior thatJesus
is, He takes note of Peter's fear, and
cairns him with the words, "Do not
fear .... n In the command to stop
being afraid, Peter, who. feels so
keenly.his ownsinfulness before the
holy Jesus, receives from Jesus the
assurance of pardon from his sins.
The Meaning of the Promise:
"From Now On You
will Be Catching Men"
The Prophecy of the Promise
Notice the future tense of the
verb. This "periphrastic future' is
necessary to express linear and
continuous future action; the tense
is otherwise futuristic and prophetic,
foretelling what Peter shall do, and
not volitive, telling what he will
do." - Lenski. 'The continuity ofthe
work is stressed: day by day, week
after week, month upcn month, etc.,
you will be engaged in this great and
glorious task." - Hendriksen. When
the church works at catching people,
people will be caught! Faithful
evangelization is successful
The Main Verb in the Promise:
"Catching Men"
From this moment on the
disciple's life vocation will change
from catching fish to catching men.
The Greek word, DZOGRON,
translated, "catching: does not
simply mean, "to catch: it means
"TO CATCH ALIVE." The contrast
is between catching fish to kill them,
and catching men to give them life,
(to be an instrument of God in giving
them life). "From now on y.ou will
be catching men alive, catching men
for life." The gospel saves from
death, and gives and sustains
spiritual life. "What a blessed calling
to catch men alive! And what a
blessed condition to have been
caught alive!" - Lenski
The Meaning of the Promise
The phrase, "fishers of men," is
not a mere play on words
appropriate to the situation; it means
much more than that. To interpret
this phrase as a mere play on words
"is to fail to appreciate its biblical
background and its relevance to the
context, which has focused attention
on God's eschatological act of
sendingJesus. IntheO.T. prophetic
tradition it is God who is the fisher
of men. The passages in which the
image is developed are distinctly
ominous in tone, stressing the divine
judgment, Jer. 16:16; Ezek. 29:4f;
38:4; Amos 4:2;
Hab. 1:14-17.2 --- It is this
understanding which prOvides the
key both to the URGENCY in Jesus'
summons of Simon and Andrew
they displayed in responding to His
call. The summons to be fishers of
men is a call to the eschatological
task of gathering men in view of the
forthcoming judgment of God. It
extends the demand for repentance
in Jesus' preaching. Precisely
because Jesus has come, fishing
becomes --- Fishing is
the evidence of the fulfillment which
Jesus proclaimed, the corollary,
(consequence), of the in-breaking
kingdom."- Lane, The Gospel
According to Mark, Nicnt, pg. 67-68.
The call ofjesus to His disciples was
a call for them to become the servants
of the principal Agent of divine
judgment in the earth.
6 THE COUNSEL of ChaIcedon November, 1995
The Function of the
Fishers of Men
"The IMMEDIATE function of
those called to be fishers of men is to
accompany Jesus as witnesses to the
proclamation of the nearness of the
kingdom and the necessity for men
to tum to God through radical
repentance. Their ULTIMATE
function will be to confront men
with God's decisive action, which to
faith has the character of salvation,
but to unbelief has the character of
judgment. n - Ume, pg. 68.
The Method of Fishing
and Catching Men
The Meaning of
Fishingfor Men
Fishing for men is instructing a
person or persons that he/they may
know the truth of God. "Instruction
by the gospel is the commencement
of all work upon mer's minds.
'Go ye, therefore, and teach all
nations, baptizing them in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Spirit: teaching them to
observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you: and, 10, I am with
you always, even unto the end of the
world.' Teaching begins the work
and crowns it too. n -Spurgeon, pg.
"The gospel, according to Isaiah,
is, 'Incline your ear, and come unto
Me: hear, and your soul shall live. ' It
is ours, then, to give men something
worth their hearing; in fact, to
instruct them. We are sent to
evangelize, or to preach the gospel
to every creature; and that is not
done unless we teach them the great
truths of revelation. The gospel is
good news. ...there is
informationinit, there is instruction
in it concerning matters which men
need to know, and statements in it
calculated to bless those who hear
it. It is not a magi cal incantation, or
. a charm, whose force consists in a
collection of sounds; it is a revelation
of facts and truths which require
knowledge and belief. The gospel is
a reasonabl e system, and it appeals
to men's understanding; it is a matter
of thought and consideration, and it
appeals to the conscience and the
reflecting powers. Hence, if we do
not teach men something, we may
shout, 'Believe! Believe! Believe!'but
what are they to believe? Each
exhortation requires a
corresponding instruction, or it will
mean nothing?"- Spurgeon, pg. 15.
As we instruct the people we are
trying to "catch," in order to catch
them, we must impress the truth of
what we are instructing him upon
his heart and conscience, so that he
can "feel" it. "A sinner has a heart as
well as a head; a sinner has emotions
as well as thoughts; and we must
appeal to both. A sinner will never
be converted until his emotions are
stirred. Unless he feels sorrow for
sin, and unless he has some measure
of joy in the reception ofthe Word,
you cannot have much hope of him.
THE WHOLE MAN."- Spurgeon,
pg. ISf.
Although INSTRUcnON and
IMPRESSION are essential to
catching men, they are means to an
end, and are empty and powerless
means, without the far greater work
of God. "A wonder of divine grace
must be wrought upon the soul, for
transcending anything which can
be accomplished by the power of
man. Of all whom we would fain,
(hopefully), win for Jesus it is true,
'Except a man be born again, he
cannot see the kingdom of God.'
never can become possessors of
eternal happiness." - Spurgeon, pg.
The Evidence That Men
Have Been Caught
Conviction of Sin
This is an indispensable mark of
the Spirit's work in us; "the new life
as it enters the heart causes intense
inward pain as one of its effects. ---
God never clothes men until He has
first stripped them, nor does He
qUicken them by the gospel till first
they are slain by the law. When you
meet with persons in whom there is
no trace of conviction of sin, you
may be quite sure that they have not
been wrought upon by the Holy
Spirit; for 'when He is come, He will
reprove the world of sin, and of
righteousness, and of judgment.'
When the Spirit of the l ord breathes
on us, He withers all the glmy of
man, which is but as the flower of
grass, and then He reveals a higher
and abiding glory."- Spurgeon, pg.
Faith inJesus Christ
Faith in Christ is the bull's eye of
the target at which we aim in fishing
for men. "The proof to you that you
have won the man's soul for Jesus is
never before you till he has done
with himself and his own merits,
and has closed in with Christ. Great
care must be taken that this faith is
exercised upon Christ for a complete
salvation, and not for a part of it. ---
Genuine faith trusts a whole Christ
for the whole of salvation. --- A
faulty exhibition of Christ begets a
faulty faith. --- We must urge the
trembling sinner to trust wholly and
alone upon the lord J esus
forever.. .. " - Spurgeon, pg. 26f.
Repentance of Sin
Repentance is a change of mind
regarding everything. "Repentance
is to leave the sins we loved before,
and show that we in earnest grieve,
by doing so no more."- Spurgeon,
pg. 28.
"True conversion is in all men
attended by a sense of sin, which we
have spoken of under the head of
conviction; by a sorrow for sin, or
holy grief at having committed it; by
a hatred for sin, which proves that
its dominion is sealed; and by a
practical turning from sin, which
shows that the life within the soul is
operating upon the life without. --
Aim, therefore, at heartbreaking, at
bringing home condemnation to the
conSCience, and weaning the mind
from sin, and be not content till the
whole mind is deeply and vitally
changed in reference to sin."-
Spurgeon, pg. 28.
Real Change of Life
"Another evidence that a person
has been "caught" by the gospel is
this: there will be found in him a
real change of life. "If that man does
not live differently from what he did
before, both at home and abroad,
his repentance needs to be repented
of, and his conversion is a fiction.
Not only action and language, but
spirit and temper must be changed.
There must be a harmony
between the life and tlle profession.
A Christian professes to renounce
sin; and ifhe does not do so, his very
name is an imposture."- Spurgeon,
Prayer is "the vital breath of
godliness. If there is no prayer, you
may be quite sure the soul is dead. -
Spurgeon, pg. 30.
November, 1995 t THE COUNSEL of Chalcedon t 7
Willingness to Obey the Lord in
All His Commandments
"It is a shameful thing for a man
to profess discipleship and yetrefuse
to learn his Lord's will upon certain
points, or even date to decline
obedience when that will is known.
How can a man be a disciple of
Christ when he openly lives in
disobedience to Him? If the
professed convert distinctly and
deliberately declares that he knows
the Lord's will but does not mean to
attend to it, you are not to pamper
his presumption, but it is your duty
to assure him that he is not saved. ---
Mistakes as, to what the Lord's will
may be are to be tenderly corrected,
but anything like willful
disobedience is fatal; to tolerate it
would be treason to Him that sent
us. Jesus must be received as King
as well as Priest .... 'Faith must obey
her Maker's will, As well as trust His
grace; A pardoning God is jealous
still, For His own holiness.'
The Qualifications of
Fishers of Men'
Jesus spelled out the
qualifications for catching men in
Matthew 4: 19--"Follow Me, and I will
make you fishers of men.' In these
words two important points are
made: (1). Jesus gives us a duty:
"Follow Me." The object of "Follow"
is "Me," i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ,
"the chief fisher of men, who was
sent by the Father to gather the lost
s h e e p ~ of the house of Israel, who
was and is the infinitely-wise God,
and so knew the best way to catch
men, and can instruct men how to
be fishers of others." - Boston, pg. 7.
The verb is "Follow" or 'Come after,"
meaning to leave behind everything
to follow Christ's call and to do His
bidding. (2). Jesus gives us a
promise: "and I will make you fishers
of men." The promise is fixed to the
duty. Notice two things about this
promise: (a). The benefit promised:
to be made fishers of men, ''which is
not only an investing of them with
authOrity, and a calling of them to
the office, but also a promise of
success they should have, that
fishing of men should be their
employment, and they should not
be employed in vain, but follOwing
Christ, they should indeed catch
men by the gospel", Boston, pg. 8;
and (b). The cause of the success
of the promise: Christ Himself will
MAKE i ~ disciples fishers of men.
Noone can make you a fisher of
men but Jesus Christ.
So how do we become fishers of
men? The way to become a fisher of
men is found in faithfulness to the
duty, "Follow Me." "FOLLOWING
OF MEN, for as the last part of
Christ's promise shows us: "the
Christian's actual becoming a fisher
of men is not something that he
himself does, but it is something
that Christ does according to the
promise."- Boston, pg. 8.
What does Christ do to make us
fishers of men? (1). He makes us
successful in fishing for and catching
people with the gospel, by the power
of His Holy Spirit accompanying
the gospel they proclaim, I Cor.
1:18;IThes.1:5 "It is He that brings
sinners into the net which ministers
spread; and if He is not with them to
drive thefish into the net, they may
toil all the night, and all day too, and
catch nothing."- Boston, pg. 9.
Therefore, pray earnestly for the
presence of God in your witnessing
and preaching, and for His power
that will bring change to your
hearers, Psa. 110:3. (2). He calls,
equips and motivates Christians to
be fishers of men, holding forth the
word of life to a dark and perverted
8 ~ THE COUNSEL of Chalcedol! ~ No"Vember, 1995
(5:11) The Response of
the Disciples to Jesus' Promise
"And when they had brought
their boats to land, they left
everything and followed Him." The
disciples broke all otherties to follow
jesus as their Master as His servants.
"Even the large draught of fish does
not detain them. They are sure that
He who has given them such
marvelous returns from their usual
business will be ready to provide for
them when, at His summons, they
abandon their business."- Plummer
"Having left everything" (Mat.
19: 17) means exactly what it says.
The disciples left everyt!hng: their
boats, fish, work, families, homes.
"Note that they followed of their
own accord. jesus issues no call as
He did in Matthew 4:21 and in Mark
1: 17 . There the call drew them,
here the promise." - Lenski
Be encouraged by this story from
the life ofJesus to give him gladand
unquestioning obedience
"We need not doubt that a
practical lesson for all Christians is
contained under these simple
circumstances. We are meant to
learn the blessing of ready,
unhesitating obedience to every
plain command of Christ. The path
of duty may sometimes be hard and
disagreeable. The wisdom of the
course we propose to follow may
not be apparent to the world. But
none of these things must move us.
We are not to confer with flesh and
blood. We are to go straight forward
whenjesus says, 'go,' and doa thing
boldly, unflinchingly and decidedly,
when jesus says, 'do it.' We are to
walk by faith and not by Sight, and
believe that what we see not now to
be right and reasonable, we shall see
hereafter. So acting, we shall never
find in the long run that we are
losers. So acting, we shall find,
sooner or later, that we reap a great
reward."- John Ryle, ExpositDlY
Thoughts on Luke, Vol. I, pg. 132.
Pray Daily for Ministers of
the Gospel Whom Christ Has
Placed in the Office and Life
Vocation of FishingfoT Men
Pray that all true ministers of the
gospel will be the true successors of
Peter and the apostles, in that they
will preach boldly and clearly "the
same full and free Gospel which
they preached, and live the same
holy lives which they lived. These
are the only ministers who will ever
provesuccessfulfishermen. Tosome
of them God may give more honor,
and to others less. But all true and
faithful preachers of the Gospel have
a right to believe that their labor
shall not prove in vain. They may
often preach the Word with many
tears, and see no result of their labor.
But God's word shall not return
void. The last day shall show that
no work for God was ever thrown
away. Every faithful fisherman shall
find his Master's words made good:
"Thou shalt catch men."'- Ryle, pg.
"'Ministers,' saidJohn Owen, 'are
seldom honored with success unless
they are continually aiming at the
conversion of sinners.' The
resolution that in the strength and
with the blessing of God he will
never rest without success, will
insure it. It is the man who has
made up his mind to confront every
difficulty, who has counted the cost
and, fixing his eye upon the prize,
has determined to fight his way to
it---it is such a man that conquers ."-
Horatius Bonar, Words to Winners of
Souls, pg. 10.
'''Periphrastic'' means "of the
nature of or characterized by
periphrasis," i.e., the expressing of
something in a roundabout way,
(circumlocution) .
' Jeremiah 16: 16-17---"'Behold,
I am going to send for many
fishermen,' declares the Lord, 'and
they will fish for them; and
afterwards I shall send for many
hunters, and they will hunt them
from every mountain and every hill,
and from the clefts of the rocks. For
My eyes are on all their ways; they
are not hidden from My face, nor is
their iniquity concealed from My
eyes. '" Ezekiel 29:4---"And I shall
put hooks in your jaws, and I shall
make the fish of your livers cling to
your scales .... " Ezekie138:4---"And
I will tum you about, and put hooks
into you jaws ... . " Amos 4:2---"The
Lord God has sworn by His holiness,
'Behold, the days are coming upon
you when they will take you away
with meat hooks. And the last of
you with fish hooks.''' Habakkuk
1:14-17---"Why has Thou made
men like the fish of the sea, like
creeping things without a ruler over
them? The Chaldeans bring all of
them up with a hook, drag them
away with theirnet, and gather them
together in their fishing net.
Therefore, they rejoice and are glad.
Therefore, they offer a sacrifice to
their net. And bum incense to their
fishing net; because through these
things their catch is large ... ."
' These comments on THE
CATCHING MEN are based on and
taken from Charles Spurgeon's The
Soul Winner, (New York, Fleming
H. Revell Company, 1895).
' These comments under THE
OF MEN are taken from Thomas
Boston's, The Art oj Man Fishing,
(Tyndale Bible Society, reprint, P.O.
Box 6006, MacDill, A. F. B. , Florida).
Biblically Correct (B. C),
Not Politically Correct (P.C)
Christ College teaches
Reformed/ Calvinist theology,
God' s law, limited civil gov-
free market eco-
nomics, literal lIyoung
earth" creation, America's
Christian roots, and a lot of
other things that drive the
modern storm troopers of
"political correctness" crazy.
We are offering many new as
well as existing programs:
G rowing, already established
residential program in
Greenville, Sc. Emphasis on
Theology/ Bible and Christian
NEW! Correspondence
program (Fall 1995 start-up)
NEW! "Great Books"
program (Possible start-up Fall
NEW! Partnership with the
new Patrick Henry Institute for
the Study of Law, Government,
and Christianity. MA and
non-traditional law
study planned.
For more info on new programs:
Christ College or
the Patrick Henry Institute
P.O. Bo, 11135,
lyn<hburg, VA. 24506
Kevin L. Clauson, M.A.,j.D.,
For more info on existing programs:
Christ College, P.O. Bo, 9084,
Greenville. Sc. 29604.
Jerry Th.D.,
Executive Vice President
Christ nor the Prstr1ck Hmry
IfUtitute dlscrlmlMltf5 on tIM bfuls of roa,
cohK, or IIfttIonQI origin.
November, 1995 t THE COUNSEL of Chalcedon f 9