Fisherman and the Hunter.
“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ For I will bring them back to their own land which I gave to their fathers” Jeremiah 16: 14,15.
Jeremiah prophesied that the fisher and the hunters would search for the Jewish people scattered across the world, bringing them back to the Promised Land. This was fulfilled through the Persian King Cyrus who encouraged the Jewish exiles in Babylon to return and rebuild their temple at Jerusalem. Ezra 1: 2-4. 2: 1,2. 3: 8.
The rebuilding of the temple was completed in 516 B.C which was 6 years after Darius became king 522 B.C. Ezra 6: 15.
At the time of Jesus
The expectation of God raising the Messiah from among the Jewish people was very great. John records that priests and Levites came to where John was baptising asking him, was he the Christ (Greek) or Messiah (Hebrew)? John 1: 19-27 Luke 3: 15,16.
Andrew disciple of John the Baptist heard John say, “Behold, the Lamb of God’ who takes away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, “After me comes a man who ranks before me. I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptise with water that he might be revealed to Israel.”
Andrew then went and told his brother Simon Peter that they ‘had found the Messiah.’ John 1: 29-31,41.
Jeremiah’s prophecy continued, “Behold, I am sending for many fishers, says the Lord, and they shall catch them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks For my eyes are upon all their ways; they are not hid from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes.” Jeremiah 16: 16,17.
Jesus fulfilled Jeremiah’s prophecy, identified as the Messiah by sending out fishermen. Luke recorded Jesus’ fishing with Simon Peter. Luke from his eyewitness accounts writes, “While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he (Jesus) was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. “For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.” Luke 5: 1-11
Jesus during his ministry fulfilled Jeremiah’s prophecy in two ways: Jesus was seeking the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Jesus was gathering those who had fallen away from keeping the Laws of Moses, mainly because of their poverty because they were unable to pay for offerings for sacrifice: grain (cheapest) bird and animal sacrifices. Jesus healed their disabilities: blindness, leprosy, mental illness and disabled and other sicknesses and diseases. Matthew 10: 6. Leviticus 2: 1.
Secondly, Jesus was like the hunter calling people to repent in preparation for the Messiah restoring Israel’s fellowship with God, under the Laws given to Moses by God.
The disciples were fishers and hunters.
Luke recorded Jesus telling his disciples that they would be fishers of men. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” Jesus commissioned his disciples to go and preach the kingdom message, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” and to heal the sick. On the return of the 70 disciples, they rejoiced as they shared with Jesus what God had done through their ministry. Jesus rejoiced in His Spirit and thanked God his Father. Luke 9: 1,2,10. 10: 17-21.
The woman of Samaria at Jacob’s Well, having heard from Jesus that he was the Messiah, she went fishing and told her friends in the city saying, ”Come see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ? They went out of the city and were coming to him………. When the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; Jesus stayed there two days. And many believed because of his word.” John 4: 25,28-30,40,41.
Jesus’ risen body the temple of God
John wrote that Jesus referred to his body being God’s temple. “Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he spoke of the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.” John 2: 19-22.
7 examples of Jesus fulfilling the law with its rituals: Jesus fulfilled the Law in himself. He was the light of the world. John 8: 12. The Menorah Candlestick that gave light in the Court of the Priests. Exodus 25: 31-40. 26: 35. Jesus was the Vine. John 15: 1. A Vine: a golden gigantic vine carving above the entrance into the Holy Place. A Edersheim, “The Temple “ Book page 58. Online ‘Read Now’ page 35. Israel, God’s Vineyard. Jesus was the final sacrifice for sin, he was the Passover Lamb that was slain on the day of preparation when the Passover Lambs were killed at the temple. Exodus 12: 1-13. John 1: 29-31.19: 31. Jesus’ blood shed for the forgiveness of sins. Leviticus 1: 3,4. 17: 11. Matthew 26: 28. In his resurrection. Isaiah 26: 19. Luke 24: 7. Jesus produced the seeds, the first fruit of the wheat harvest. Leviticus 23: 9. John 12: 24. Jesus the living water, the wells of Salvation. Isaiah 12: 3,4. John 7: 37-39.
Every day during the Feast of Tabernacles, a priest drew water from the Pool of Siloam and carried it to the temple, where the priest poured the water either side of the altar.
Alfred Edersheim writes, “It was on that day, after the priest had returned from Siloam with his golden pitcher, and for the last time poured its contents to the base of the altar; after the Hallel’ had been sung to the sound of the flute . . . a voice was raised which resounded through the temple, startled the multitude, and carried fear and hatred to the hearts of their leaders. It was Jesus, who stood and cried, saying, “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink.” He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” John 7: 37-39. Isaiah 12: 3,4. Alfred Edersheim “The Temple” Book Page 281.
Ezekiel’s prophecy fulfilled by Jesus.
Ezekiel’s prophecy, “Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). Ezekiel 47: 1
Jesus fulfilled Ezekiel’s prophecy. The water represents the Holy Spirit flowing from the temple of Jesus’ body. John 20: 20. Luke 3: 16.
“On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink.” He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” “ Now, this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7: 37-39
The apostles received the Holy Spirit on the evening of Jesus’ resurrection and at Pentecost the power of the Holy Spirit. John 20: 20. Luke 24: 49. Acts 2: 1-4.
Ezekiel’s prophecy continued, As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits] and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross.”
“Then he led me back along the bank of the river. As I went back, I saw upon the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the stagnant waters of the sea,] the water will become fresh. And wherever the river[c] goes every living creature which swarms will live, and there will be very many fish; for this water goes there, that the waters of the sea[d] may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. Fishermen will stand beside the sea; from En-ge′di to En-eg′laim it will be a place for the spreading of nets; its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” Ezekiel 47: 3-12.
The apostles and followers of Jesus were fishermen and hunters, they reached out with the good news of Jesus’ resurrection and proclaiming if the leaders and people repented God would send the appointed Christ, Jesus. Acts 3: 20.
Thousands of Jews and Proselytes received Jesus as their Saviour, Messiah and received Jesus’ Baptism of the Holy Spirit, fulfilling Joel’s prophecy in the last days the Holy Spirit would be poured out and people would dream dreams and prophesy. Joel 2: 28. Acts 2: 1-4, 17,18,37-39.
Ezekiel describes the water flowing out towards the Dead Sea and the waters of the Salt Sea becoming fresh water. This represented the apostles proclaiming the good news transforming people’s hearts to know that Jesus is Israel’s Saviour, the promised Messiah. The fishermen would spread their nets and catch all kinds of fish. The people from towns around Jerusalem came to Jerusalem (It is 53 miles from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea.) “The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.” Acts 5: 16. The apostles fulfilled Ezekiel’s prophecy they were expecting Jesus to return within their generation. Mark 13: 30.
The church today is fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy.
Today’s church the fishers of men, women and children and Hunters sent out to find the lost, these are the people from across the world, turning to Jesus Christ in belief that he is the Saviour of the world.
The river flowing out from Christ to his body of believers. The message of faith in Jesus: accepting Jesus as our Saviour and Lord. “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in him will receive eternal life.” John 3: 16.
The measurement of depth of the river represents the levels of a Christians commitment to Jesus.
The hunter Ankle deep – sin in life stopping a deeper relationship with the Lord. Knee deep – A Christian decides the percentage of their time they will give to the Lord’s work. Luke records the man about to embark on a mission saying, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his/her hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9: 61,62. Waist deep – Fervent in prayer and responding to God’s call to go and tell the good news of God’s saving love.
From the fisher, the river of life flows out, all kinds of fish live in the river. The tree roots taking water from the river are those Christians who are fulfilling their calling to serve Jesus. Those Christians who are passionate about people coming to know Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
The hunter – the water reaches the lake of salt, it is like the church meeting unbelievers.
The person of the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, the sin of unbelief in Jesus. The righteousness of God, through the transforming of the heart, the laws of God written in the heart of a person. Judgement: The Bible indicates that God will judge every person who has ever lived on the earth. Christians come before the judgement seat of Christ. John 16: 8-11. Romans 2: 4-7, 29. Revelation 20: 11-15. 1 Corinthians 3: 12-15. 4: 5.
The fishermen are fishing and spreading their nets – Christians sharing the gospel and many people coming to faith in Jesus.