Living in Israel for the past five years, I have spent time with both shepherds and fishermen. Today’s video short brings to life Matthew 4:18-19 where we learn that Peter is a fishermen on the Sea of Galilee who leaves everything to follow Jesus. In turn, Jesus promises Peter that he will make him a fisher of men. Yet, at the end of the gospels, still on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and after a miraculous catch of fish, Jesus gives his final charge to the fisherman Peter by instructing him to “Feed my lambs…Take care of my sheep…Feed my sheep.” John 21:15-17
The nature of fishing and shepherding are very different. And yet, each human soul needs both. Fishing is about catching while shepherding is about caring, providing and protecting. The Bible also makes this distinction between the nature of the spiritual gifts of evangelism and pastoring. My experience has been that evangelism is like fishing, while pastoring is synonymous with shepherding.
Jesus provided Peter with both of these gifts. Soon Peter would go fishing in Jerusalem and with the gospel he would net 3,000 souls for the kingdom of heaven (Acts 2). Now he had 3,000 souls to feed and care for. He did both in obedience to the One who had caught and cared for his own soul. My prayer has always been to have within our ministry a heart for both of these gifts and to see them functioning together at the heart of the church, whom like Peter, Jesus commissioned to both fish and shepherd the souls of people.