As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." Immediately they left their nets and followed Him." [Matthew 4:16-18].
I remember sitting back with my grandfather fishing at Turtle Lake fishing for jackfish and trout. I remember him teaching me the basics of fishing. "Craig," he would say, "You need to make sure that the hook is attractive for the fish so they can bite and when they bite, you need to tug and catch the fish hook, line and sinker." So I would go into his old brown tackle box that had a variety of rusted hooks, but I found the most shiney silver and orange hook and placed it on my line and cast it into the lake. Moments later, the line tugs and I tug back catching my first jack.
Most traditional Christian pastors, especially in the last two hundred years, have taught what it means to be fishers of men according to my simular experience fishing with my grandfather. We need to make the message attractive so that men would bite and all we have to do is pull them in! It sounds logical, it is how men fish for fish these days but let us look at Scripture again, "As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen," (Matthew 4:16). In context, Jesus was not speaking of the single line fishing we recreationally enjoy, he was speaking of net-fishing, which is the only way a fisherman can effectively and efficiently draw a profession.
"History for Kids" says,
NET FISHING -A group of people would wade out into the ocean someplace where it was pretty shallow, and when they were out as far as the fish they would spread out the net, and walk forward, and then the men on the end would walk towards each other and close up the net, and they would all carry it back to the shore.
If the water was deeper, you could also fish from small wooden boats, by dragging the net behind you for a while and then pulling it up into the boat. This is what Peter was doing when he first met Jesus.
[Dr. Carr PhD. "History for Kids." [Online] Available http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/economy/fishing.htm
, April 6, 2005.]
With the line and hook you are attracting fish, and by luck and timing when you feel the bite you pull hard pulling in the fish. In the time of Christ, in context to his time the fishermen threw out the net and the fish had no choice in the matter of being caught or not but when the nets were full you would drag them into the boat. Even today, a career fisherman does not use a hook and line but nets.
Why have we not been taught this? It is because we believe that we have free-will in our destiny (self-determination) and our design in which we need an 'attractive' message that pulls on the lusts of the fleshly mind. It feels comfortable to believe that we had a choice in the matter to 'accept' or 'recieve' the gift before us rather than to believe that we are swimming mindlessly with no knowledge right into the net and being pulled in against our will.
Here is something to ponder, when one throws out the net, they must lift the nets into the boat dragging or drawing all the fish as well. Let us read more Scripture: John 12:30-32 'Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
The word 'draw' in greek says, "helkuo" in a future tense, to literally to draw, drag off forcefully.
Ponder this for a moment, Jesus said, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men!" The surprise in the eyes of the disciples must have been large. Fishers of men? We shall go and literally snare and drag men? This was a shocking doctrine for these men. It was not a 'polite' sounding gospel but a gospel of authority. What is there to boast about for the men caught in that net? There is no boasting; there is no recieving; there is no accepting; there is no work any man can do that can prevent the inevitable authority that would draw them to Christ.
"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruitfruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other." [John 15:15-17]
What does it mean to be a fisher of man? He choose us, we did not choose Him. Love each other. When He is lifted up, He will drag all men unto Himself.Let us read more Scripture: John 12:30-32 'Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." PART II
The primary definition of the word 'draw' in Greek says, "helkuo" is to literally to draw, drag off forcefully, pull with power.
Here are some other places the word "HELKOU" is used so we can get an understanding of Jesus's words.
John 18:10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew [HELKOU] it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)
John 21:6 He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul [HELKOU] the net in because of the large number of fish.
Acts 16:19 When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged [HELKOU] them into the marketplace to face the authorities.
Acts 21:30 30The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged [HELKOU] him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut.
James 2:6 But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging [HELKOU] you into court?
Nowhere has this word ever been used as a metaphorical usage of "Lead" or "Attract" or "Impel" in Scripture. It has always been used to indicate a refusal of the volition of the subject being dragged or drawn.
So when Jesus said, "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He was not speaking of the Elect only, as a fisherman pulls a fish from water with nets, it draws up different kinds. When Jesus, who has the authority and power over all mankind, said all men, he literally meant it because they are forcefully drawn to him without volition.
Second, where exactly are they being drawn too? Well many people say drawn to judgment. As I have even witnessed this many times, that people are saying they are drawn to judgment. Is that what Jesus said?
Read it again:
"This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
He is not indicating further judgment when he is lifted up from the earth, he said that 'NOW', presently is the time for judgment on this world; 'NOW', presently is the time the prince of this world will be driven out. 'BUT', however, yet when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men not to judgment, not to the prince of this world, but to myself.
How was he lifted up from the earth? In the same way Moses raised the serpent on the pole; that is, Jesus is raised up on the cross.
He is indicating that although the world and the prince of this world are presently in judgment, He will draw all mankind to Himself far from this judgment to the advantage of Himself. He died in their place, took the judgment upon Himself.
Colossians 1:19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:10a When we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son...
The first covenant was weak, but the second is all powerful. The first covenant could not save any, but the last saves all. Where as the serpent only had the power to heal (salvation) those who looked to it by their own volition; Jesus has the power to give healing to all in His Authority without volition.
Jesus did not draw all mankind to judgment, He draws all mankind to Himself...Salvation.
1 Timothy 2:3-7 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.
Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
All mankind, not some; by His choice, not ours; to salvation, not wrath.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
There are many things that accompany salvation, which are gained or lost by our volition through the judgment of our deeds and our words, but salvation itself has never been in our power or control. Only Jesus Christ has the power and authority to save and by all accounts of His own words, and the words of His disciples, He will draw all mankind and will save all. A knowledge of the Truth, which shall be testified in due time causing all to kneel and confess that Jesus Christ is the Savior of All, not some.