And he said to them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find. They cast therefore…
Many men there are who make fishing rods who never use them. To make fishing rods is one thing, and to catch fish is another. Many men can make good lines who never think of going out to fish. There are plenty of mechanics that stand by the stithy and make all sorts of hooks who never catch fish. Many of the men who make reels and baskets do not catch fish. The man who, having these things at his command, knows where the trout lie, and how to throw his line, and how to draw back when the fish rises to the hook, he after all is the fisherman. Now there are hundreds of men who, when they go into the pulpit, make rods and lines (very long lines), and hooks, and reels, and baskets. They take this or that doctrine and pound it out into a hook, bending it and kinking it just so, and stick it up on a paper, and label it, and that is the end of it. And this is called preaching! To know how to make rods and lines, &c., is called sound, regular, and approved preaching; but Christ says that is preaching which catches men. And, so far from teaching you that you have no right to introduce into the pulpit anything but the substance of doctrines, I affirm that the man who does not do it will never catch men. God's sovereignty may, out of the literal foolishness of his preaching, catch some men; but the commission of Christ to every man that undertakes to preach is, "Follow Me, and I will make you a fisher of men." The business of a preacher is to catch men — proud, wicked, worldly men: and to catch them out of temptations, out of snares, out of wealth, out of poverty: for men are in more pools, ten thousand times than fishes are And that man who knows all kinds, and what sort of bait each loves, and how to coax him, and how to catch him, knows how to preach; but the man who does not know these things though he knows everything else — lacks a knowledge of the very thing he was sent to do.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.