Ministry of the Fishermen

The following Scripture takes place after Jesus was baptized at the river Jordan by John the Baptist. It is the account of Jesus calling some of His disciples.

Matthew 4:18-22 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
19 And He said to them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.
20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him.
21 And going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them.
22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him.

He called them. So they are the “called out.” That is what the Greek word for church (ekklesia) means. The church is the “called out.” So you could say that the New Testament Church began here when Jesus called His disciples and they left all to follow Him.

These disciples were fishermen by trade. And Jesus said, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men (verse 19). In the past we have looked on this “fishers of men ministry” as a one-on-one kind of evangelism. That is not exactly what Jesus had in mind, though. What He had in mind was Kingdom evangelism. Jesus speaks of this kind of evangelism in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew.

Matthew 13:47 Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea…

Who are the ones casting the net? Fishermen! It is fishermen that cast the net. And who are the fishermen casting the net in the Kingdom of heaven? It is His disciples! They cast the net into the sea of man to bring them unto His Kingdom.

Matthew 13:47-48 Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

Jesus uses this parable to explain the fishermen ministry of the Kingdom. The net is thrown out, catching the fish, and then the fishermen sit down to separate them. The good fish are kept and the bad fish are thrown out. This parable is an example of Kingdom ministry in our day.

Matthew 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the age: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just.

The Greek word for “angels” here is aggelos, which literally means “messengers.” And these messengers here are not angelic beings. They are the fishermen casting out the net (the Gospel of the Kingdom) and drawing in the fish. They keep the good fish and throw out the bad. In other words, they now have a separation ministry. Do you know what kind of ministry does the separation? It is the ministry of the living Word. The living Word divides soul from spirit. For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12.

Let’s see how this process works with an individual. Let’s say that the living Word net is thrown out and you are drawn in. The living Word brings you in, and then it begins the dividing of soul and spirit within you. The bad aspects of your human nature are the bad fish, and that which was imparted to your spirit of the Christ nature is the good fish. So the living Word divides the bad fish from the good fish, the soul from the spirit.

This is not to say that wicked men will not be separated from the Kingdom, but this separation ministry will also take place within us. This is likened unto the second day ministry in Genesis 1:6-8 when the Lord divides the waters below from the waters above. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament.

Matthew 13:49-50 So shall it be at the end of the age: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

In the past people have interpreted this as the good people going to heaven and the bad people being cast into the lake of fire. But we understand this as a work that takes place within us. Our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29), and He is burning up the chaff within us. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire: whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Matthew 3:11-12.

If you have really received a living Word and had that Word to work in you, burning up the chaff of your nature, then you have experienced, at least to some degree, a wailing and gnashing of teeth. This is the divine process of establishing His Kingdom in you. It is the work of the cross that we’ve heard so much about.

Matthew 13:51 Jesus said unto them, Have you understood all these things? They say unto Him, Yes, Lord.

They thought they understood it. But you don’t understand it until you actually experience it. They didn’t understand it, but the day would come when they would.

Matthew 13:52 Then said He to them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.

The scribe instructed unto the Kingdom is one that has known the purifying fire of God. And that creates the treasure whereby he can bring forth things new and old. That isn’t just teachings from the Old and New Testament. A Kingdom scribe is one that takes the Word out of the past and future and brings it into the present. He opens the treasures of heaven to be experienced now.

Matthew 13:53 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, He departed.

Here is the process of spiritual growth. Jesus departs to another level and begins the work of drawing you up to where He is.

Copyright © 2001 by Henry DuBose