Whenever the term occupation, work, job, appointment, or contract are used, it no doubt has more to do with economic empowerment. Humanity has various needs; necessities, luxuries, lifestyle, status needs, mention it! The basic method by which our needs are acquired is buying or purchasing and the means is money. Purchasing power is gotten through economic capacity, which is derived from career endearvours like job or work. So, when Jesus asked a group of fishermen, Simon and Andrew in particular, “…follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt 4:18), I can only imagine what this kind of call portends for a whole family’s income. Simon and Andrew are siblings from the family of Mr. Zebedee, their business could even be tagged as Zebedee and Sons Ventures. But hey, what does this new appointment entail? Is there something Simon and Andrew knew that we don’t know, cos they, unperturbed left all, and followed Jesus immediately?
Let’s do a little analysis of the job description of ‘a fisherman’ and ‘a fisher of men’. A fisherman is someone whose profession is catching fish, or who engages in fishing, which is the act of catching fish from a body of water for either consumption or commercial purposes. A fisher of man, in the context in which Jesus spoke is an evangelist, a person who look out for people and reconcile them with God by persuading them to believe in Jesus. When a fisherman catches fish, that is the end of the life of the fish. When a fisher of man converts a man, that is the beginning of a new life for the man.
What are in the value chain of a fish? A fisherman sells the fish and collects money; the fish is used for immediate consumption as food for human being, animal feed and as canned food. Even if the fish’s shelf life is prolonged by preservative methods, it’s a downward trend from the moment it’s caught. On the other hand, a fisher of man hands over the person, not for a fee, to a body of Christ followers for nurturing and fellowship. The fellow is transformed, gets better and better from one level of glory to a greater one till he/she ends up in the kingdom of God. Comparing the economic potentials of a caught fish with a converted person is nothing but an aberration. The fisherman gets paid, once and forget about the deal in a very short time. The fish does not have a memory of the fisherman. In contrast, though the fisher of man get no immediate remuneration for the person he/she converts, the convert remembers him/her for a long time and the One who employs the fisher of men never ever forgets. The immediate rewards given to the fisher of men are intangibles; things that are too expensive for any amount of money to afford. And, in the long term, one can only imagine how much this venture will pay and continue to pay back, if the fisher of men remains steadfast.
A fact is that, it is more risky to be a fisher of men than to be a fisherman. But, a superior truth is, the higher the risk, the higher the potential returns on investment. Kudos to Simon and Andrew! They must have challenged themselves, ‘is it not nobler to nurture men than to kill fishes?’ Fishing pays the bills, but converting men pays better and endlessly in the long term. The worth of a converted person is so high that heaven throws party at the instance of one. A converted person is soon transformed into a highly effective human resource. His/her thinking faculty is daily upgraded, and would soon start to rear fishes, and convert more people who would join him/her to rear more fishes.
Which one would you rather be? Which one do you think makes more economic sense?
What do you think?
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