MATT 4:19 and MARK 1:17 both repeat the words of Yeshua: "Come, Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."
What an offer our Messiah made to his disciples. Peter, James, and John especially since that was their profession. They were professional fishermen on the Sea of Galilee, yet they decided to drop their nets and follow Messiah Yeshua, trusting all their needs to HIM.
Nothing wrong with fishing, either as a profession or as a sport. I remember in my aunt's house she had a picture of a fisherman in a river and she had a few rods with fly fishing equipment. I also had my fishing adventures, both in fresh water and in salt water. I remember walking with grandpa on the Miami Beach fishing pier once. I found a small piece of a wooden lawn chair, I also found some fishing line. All I needed was a sinker and a hook.
I decided to ask some fishermen if they could part with those items. One kind guy gave me both, and I found some bait along the wall. I put it on the hook and with the line tied to the end of the wooden dowel (which used to be part of that chair) and then lowered it into the water. A few minutes later, I brought up a Red Snapper. Nice experience. Grandpa said: "Very good, you caught a Red-a-Snap"
I remember the novel and then it was made into a movie; "The Old Man and the Sea." By Ernest Hemingway. I read the novel and then saw the movie (about three times). If you read the novel or saw the movie, you will know that "Santiago" was a poor, old, Cuban fisherman.
He lived alone in a small shack on one of the beaches in Cuba, probably during the late 1950s. He had a young friend, a boy named Manolo. He was a good friend to Santiago. Yet Santiago had gone 84 days without catching a fish. Now the other fishermen thought of him as "salao" or "bad luck" and would not let Manolo go fishing with him on his little boat. Santiago had a passion, it was Baseball, and he always liked to talk about Baseball with Manolo. Santiago was still strong, yet in his younger days, he was even stronger since he won an all-night arm-wrestling match.
Santiago had also a strong will. He would not give up. One day he decided he would indeed catch a fish. He would go a long way out to sea and not return until he had caught his prize fish. Well, he went out that day, and indeed, a very large Marlin swallowed the bait and the hook attached to his makeshift pole and strong cord. He spent a day and a night and the next day struggling with that fish, when he finally wore it out and brought it alongside his boat, it was as long as his boat.
He took his harpoon and killed it. Then, after tying it to the side of his boat, he put up his sail and headed back to the beach. But problems followed him, the Marlin left a blood trail in the water and it attracted sharks. Soon, the sharks "galanos" were upon his catch. Santiago fought the sharks with a club and a knife, yet they kept coming, attacking and tearing off chunks of the Marlin. By the time he reached the shore, all that remained of the Marlin was a skeleton attached to the tail and the head.
Old Santiago dragged himself up to his shack and fell down on his cot and went to sleep. The next day, all the fishermen were amazed at his catch. "Never has there been such a fish!" "You are the greatest fisherman Santiago." They all exclaimed. Manolo went and got Santiago some coffee with some rice and beans. He stayed with him until he woke up. Santiago was no longer "salao" he regained his honor. Manolo went fishing with him again. I'm sure that the fishermen gave Santiago something for what was left of the Marlin, at least for bait.
Yeshua said to be "fishers of men." That is the call of all believers. We are to go out and fish for the souls of men (and women). All men and women are finite bodies inhabited by infinite souls. Since these souls will spend eternity somewhere, we all have a job to do. We cast the line using the Bible as bait. Yet we can not just go up to a person and say; "Here, read this" we need to present it in a way that it will grab a person's attention, like casting a line with bait in the water, then, slowing reeling it in, or use some plastic bobbers with a hook and a bit of bait on the end.
Some people will respond and "bite" and "take" the bait. Then, we have to reel them in. Once fastened to our boat, we head back to shore. Our shore is the heavenly shore where there is no more crying or pain. Yet Satan sees the souls of men, those souls who have taken the Bible Bait and are headed towards the celestial shore. He will send his demonic sharks to attack and rip apart those who have been caught. ripping them apart with false doctrines, doubt, cares of the world, injecting thoughts like; "You're not REALLY saved, dude!"
The fisher of souls has a job, to lead that person to understand the Word of God, to instruct him or her in the commandments, in knowing who God is, who Yeshua/Jesus is. Therefore, discipleship is important. The bites might come but not as intense as if left without guidance in the Word.
Instruction in the "WAY to go". There are those who fish, and those who instruct the one fished out of the world of sin. The rewards will be for both.
So, fishers of men and women, fish, catch and instruct those that are on the line. The harvest is much but the laborers are few. The sea of sin is loaded with fish, and many fish are looking to swallow the bait, others could care less. We can't catch them all, only a few, but those few who the Father has chosen.
Old Santiago rests easy that night. The story ends with "Santiago dreaming about lions on the beach of some African shore." Yes, I wouldn't mind dreaming about a lion, but not any lion, only the "Lion of Judah."
"The Old Man and the Sea" Is on YouTube if you want to watch it. (a few versions are available)