The Disciples had occupations ranging from Fishermen, to Businessman, to Tax Collector, to Zealot or Political Revolutionalist and to Treasurer. The most common profession found among the majority of them was Fishermen. Andrew, Peter, James and John, the sons of Zebedee worked as fishermen according to Matthew 4:18-22. Thomas, Nathaniel and Philip were found fishing after Jesus’ resurrection when He appeared to them, so they also may be fishermen. (John 21:2-8) They at least knew how to fish. That is 7 out of 12 belonging to the Guild of Fishermen.
God calls us to be fishers of men and women just as we are – cracked pots and all. Notice Jesus did not go and call a Pharisee, Saducee or religious leader to be fishers of men? Perhaps that is a reason why they were Sad-U-See (insert groaning here). Jesus summoned those that knew they were imperfect. Paul mentions a quality that Jesus loves to capitalize on – weakness. In Paul’s second letter to the believers in Corinth, he says, “But He [Jesus] said to me, ”‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’"(2 Cor. 12:9) And Matthew records Jesus teaching that – “Blessed are the meek (or humble), for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
Jesus did not desire to pass along His Fisher of Men Technique to the big wheeler and dealers of the day. The only one that was a perfect fisher of humanity taught the likes of Blue Collar job workers how to reach out in love to others. Why would Jesus do that? Perhaps the Fishermen Motif fits perfectly. You do not see a farmer or planter as a profession listed amongst the Disciples resumes. Yet, the farmer illustration is used as how believers should go and witness - planting a seed, allowing others to water and the Holy Spirit to grow the seed. So, the Guild of Fishermen, made up of Cracked Pots, is what Jesus was going for as a strong statement of Lifestyle Analogy or analogous lifestyle.
Remember the Lord’s calling of Simon and Andrew in Matthew 4:18-20?
- “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed Him.”
Notice two things – (1) Jesus changed their mode of operation - fishing for people now, in addition to the scaly things - and (2) they made the decision to follow Jesus immediately. It all hinged on the going and following Him. Jesus of Nazareth made an awesome impression because these and the rest of the Disciples were captivated by His call to join Him.
If you are a believer in Christ, do you remember when you decided to give your life to Him and start following in the lifestyle of Jesus? Do you recall the draw, the transformation from what kind of person you were before to the person you were after you started walking with The Lord? It is always healthy to revisit this memory. It brings appreciation, thankfulness and praise to God.
However, whatever drew us to Him should drive us to share with others. We have got to find a way to fish more men and women for the Lord with our lives. Now that we have Christ in our lives and we are allowing Him to lead us, His heart has always been for the next person that does not know Him in an intimate fashion.
Similar to the motif of the Planter, Waterer, and Reaper - some can carry the fishing pole. Some can carry the bait. Some can bait the hook. Some can cast the line into the waters. Some can scoop up the fish in the net. But we all have a role to play in being in the Guild of Fishermen: Cracked Pots And All.