Part 3 The Fishermen
This is the third in a series of seven mini-articles focusing on the idea that heaven will not be an abstract disembodied place above the stars but rather a glorious down-to-earth Kingdom, here on a restored planet earth, with Christ Jesus ruling and reigning from his throne in Jerusalem.
To go to the beginning of the series then please click here.
Please either listen to the four minute audio above or read the notes below or both at the same time!
The reign of Christ Jesus on earth will not bring to an end the stewardship, creativity, talent, skills and artistic abilities that we have developed and enjoyed up until now, but rather it will be the fulfillment and fruition of these gifts.
One of the most glorious of verses is found in Ezekiel 47:3-12 which describes the fishermen plying their trade along the shore.
Ezekiel 47:10 ‘Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets.’
Fishing may not be everybody’s cup of tea but I can identify with this verse because I worked as a fisherman for a few months, just south of Akko, when I was a young man.
The river that Ezekiel describes can be considered as a metaphor for the flow of the Holy Spirit and a fair number of sermons have been quite rightly preached regarding plunging into the depths of the Holy Spirit.
But yet Ezekiel 47:7-12 describes in too much detail the geography of the journey of this river to be considered merely as a metaphor. The description of the fishermen catching fish of many kinds with their nets strongly indicates the real life realities of these verses as well.
When Christ Jesus reigns from Jerusalem, some will be employed to catch fish and harvest the fruit trees for the provision of the peoples. Food will not fall out of the sky; we will have to work for our supper. The major difference though is that we will have glorified bodies and we will not grow weary from our labours.
There is a lovely verse in John 21:4-14 which describes the resurrected Jesus calling his disciples to bring their catch of fish to the shore. Jesus had prepared a fire of burning coals to cook some of the fish for breakfast. The point made here is that Jesus was cooking real fish, that the disciples could eat, rather than an abstract fishy metaphor. Jesus did not snap his divine fingers in order to cook the fish. He prepared the coals and lit the fire.
John 21:9 ‘When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread…v12 ‘Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast”.
Heaven on earth will be full to the brim with realities. Some will be called to catch the fish and harvest the fruit to provide for the table of others. Others will distribute these provisions and ensure that everyone is satisfied. Others will clear the tables and do the washing-up!
Bringing in the fishing nets at sunrise, with the hoopoes flying overhead, will be one of the real joys of life!
Tomorrow we explore how God provides a dwelling place for His children.