Souls Like Fish

“How are souls like fish?” It’s not the start to a joke, but an important question the Puritan Thomas Boston draws from Jesus’ call to the fishers-of-fish Peter, James, and John: “Come and follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mk 1:17) Boston reasons, if you are called to ministry, then you are called to “man-fishing” for the savior. And the great gem of Boston’s The Art of Manfishing is that souls are like fish and we are to catch them by means of the gospel.

“Fishers catch fish with a net. So preachers have a net to catch souls with. This is the everlasting gospel, the word of peace and reconciliation, wherewith sinners are caught.”-Thomas Boston, The Art of Manfishing

Brothers (and any sisters that may be here as well), as you read this, may you be reminded that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16). Boston articulates it simply and clearly: the gospel is the word of peace and reconciliation.

So we ask, what else would they be caught by? What are we attempting to accomplish, if we use another net (our relevance)? And if caught by other means, who are they really caught for?  The gospel needs no gimmickry or window dressings. It doesn’t need varsity personality or herculean giftedness. It just needs someone who will cast it boldly in the power of the Holy Spirit.

As you wrestle with your call this week, take comfort that all the gear you need to go fishing with your Father, he’s already laid out, ready for you to use.


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