Jeff Kolodzinski is a fisherman from Slinger, a village in Wisconsin. In 2011 he set a new world record when he hauled 2,649 fish in only 24 hours, breaking his own former world record. Using nothing more than a simple cane pole, a small, sensitive float (bobber) and live baits, he performed a truly amazing feat.
This accomplishment reminded me of another story in the Bible. It was about these fishermen that toiled up all night and caught nothing. But when Jesus blessed them, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. You can find this story in the Book of Luke chapter five verses one to eleven. The fishermen were Peter, James, John and Andrew. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:18), and the rest is history.
God poured out His Holy Spirit at Pentecost and Peter preached. In just one day 3000 people were baptized (Acts 2:41) and this beats Jeff Kolodzinski’s record. Peter caught 3000 two-legged fish – human beings, souls, like you and me. It was also recorded that 5000 people were baptized following Peter and John’s spirit-filled sermon.
Another interesting fish story was about the worst fisherman who became the best fisher of man. This fisherman was swallowed by a very big fish. I think this story is fairly well-known. It’s the story of Jonah. Then there was the story of two fish and five loaves of bread, when Jesus feeds the 5000.
Did you know that in the King James Version of the Bible, the word fish is mentioned 38 times? Fish in the Bible is a major theme. In the Old Testament we read about the “clean and unclean fish(es)” (Leviticus 11), the coin in the mouth of a fish (Matthew 17:24-27), and the New Testament stories were all about fishing – literally and metaphorically.
Finally, the fish symbol is associated with Christianity. According to historical research studies, Christians have been using the Fish Symbol as early as the first century. Ichthus in Greek, was interpreted as an acrostic in which the Greek letters are the initials of the words I ēsous Ch ristos th eou hy ios s ōtēr meaning Jesus Christ Son of God Savior (Merriam-Webster). Christians in the Roman empire had to be careful with what they said and how they behaved or recognized each other. They looked for a symbol that would not be too obvious, but that would be discernible enough for believers to recognize and encourage each other. The Ichthus became a symbol of Jesus.
Jesus is calling, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Will you answer? Will you share His good news of salvation?