When I was 6 years old, my older brother taught me how to fish. He taught me how to bait my hook, and the importance of using the right bait, depending on what I was fishing for.
As Christians, we have all been called, just like the disciples, to be fishers of men. Matthew 4:19: “Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ ”
I thank God for people like Buzz McKarcher, Kris McKarcher and David Thompson, who taught me how to fish for men. More importantly, I thank God for the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. He taught me the most important thing. He taught me what bait to use. Unlike fishing for fish, I don’t need to use a bunch of different kinds of bait. In fishing for men, there is only ONE bait. That bait is Jesus Christ.
Jesus said in John 12:32: “If I be high and lifted up will draw all men unto myself.” On the day of Pentecost, Peter did just that, he lifted Jesus up. Speaking of Jesus, Peter said in Acts 2:23-24: “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.”
That right there, my friends, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Peter was preaching the gospel. Jesus was crucified, he died, and God raised him up. When Peter preached that, it said it cut the people to the heart, and Peter reeled in 3,000 souls that day. I can still hear Peter shouting, “Fish on, fish on, fish on!”
Listen, listen, Jesus was the bait! Now here is where it gets very exciting. Do you realize when you fish with Jesus, you are using “live bait?” Let’s get back to the gospel found in 1 Corinthians 15:1, “That Jesus died on a cross, He was taken down and put in a tomb, and three days later He rose from the dead.”
Jesus Christ is alive, so you see, we are fishing with “live bait.” Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” We know that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. He didn’t just take the sacrifice into the Holies of Holies; he WAS the sacrifice.
Hebrews 9:11-12: “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” For the purpose of this article, another way of saying that is, he was the “live bait” that went into the Holies of Holies, and he died for the sin of the world, then three days later he rose from the dead. He became “live bait” once again.
It gets even more exciting! The Father himself has sent us back that “live bait” to dwell in us.
John 14:16-17: “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be IN you.”
Did you hear that? The live bait we are using to fish for men with, actually lives IN us. Oh, my! Stop and dwell on that for a minute! I swallowed that bait, hook, line and sinker, 28 years ago. The Holy Spirt takes me fishing every day, and he makes sure I am baited up with Jesus. I love the days when I can shout out like Peter, “Fish on! Fish on!”
Hasselstrom is an evangelist with Cross Tied Ministries.