bible study devotion

Devotion: from fishermen to fishers of men

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

woman in a boat
Photo by Andre Furtado on


Heavenly Father, we pray that You will enable us to log in to Your channel, frequency, and wavelength. Help us to fine-tune our spiritual antennas to receive divine signals from You. Help us to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s voice, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 


By this time, Jesus’ popularity was at an all-time high. People were coming from everywhere to listen to Him. He was surrounded by a massive crowd in the Lake of Gennesaret or the Sea of Galilee. There were two boats, one belonging to Simon Peter, and the other to James and John. Jesus alighted Simon Peter’s boat and told him to move deeper into the water. He sat down and taught the people in the floating pulpit of the boat.  

Luke 5:4-9

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered him, “Master, we worked all night, and took nothing; but at your word, I will let down the net.”  6 When they had done this, they caught a great multitude of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 They beckoned to their partners in the other boat, that they should come and help them. They came and filled both boats so that they began to sink. 8 But Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord.” 9 For he was amazed, and all who were with him, at the catch of fish which they had caught; 

Luke 5:4-9


After teaching the people, Jesus commanded Peter to go into deeper water and throw in the nets. Simon Peter reluctantly threw in the net because he did not expect any result. He had been throwing the nets one whole night to no avail. To his surprise, the net was so full of fish and so heavy that the net was going to break. This miracle is unique to Luke. 

Simon Peter signaled to his partners James and John in the other boat for assistance. They came alongside and collected the fish into the two boats. The fishes were so heavy that the two boats began to sink. Amazed at such a great miraculous catch, Peter knelt in front of Jesus and confessed that he was a sinful man. 

Even James and John, the sons of Zebedee were astonished. Jesus told them not to be afraid.  From now on Jesus would make them fishers of the souls of men. When the boats reached land, they left everything and followed Jesus. Here, Jesus chose four fishermen from Galilee as His apostles, Peter and his brother Andrew, James, and his brother John. 


When Peter was fishing by his own self-effort throughout whole night, he could not catch any fish at all. When Peter followed the direction of Jesus, the catch was so great that they filled up 2 boats! The catch was so bountiful and beyond his wildest imagination. Convicted of his sins, Peter fell prostrate before Jesus, and worshiped Him.

You will not be successful when you share the gospel with your self-effort. You will be successful if you listen carefully to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and follow God’s instructions. You need to pray before you make a move and listen very carefully. Evangelism must be done according to God’s will and direction. You need to do evangelism Jesus’ way. He is the way, the truth, and the life, John 14:6.. No one can come to the Father except through Him. 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.

John 14:6


Heavenly Father, thank You for making us fishers of men. Help us to equip ourselves with the tools and skills of personal evangelism. Help us to share the Gospel with non-believers. Help us to walk by faith and not by sight. Help to do things according to your ways and not be our own self-effort, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

woman on a boat
Photo by Andre Furtado on