The Captain of Our Life-Saving Ark Is None Other Than King Jesus The Christ --
And Yet This Regal Jesus Still Uses A Life-Saving Net . . . And A Big Stick Too. . . To Collect
Many Drowning Humans and To Bring These Gone-Astray Persons Aboard His Lifeboat!
Street Tracts International - taken from a tract in the Truth For Southeast Asia series
(Version1a, September 12, 2007. Copyright 2007 by Roddy Kenneth Street, Jr.)
Here's a surprising fact that you maybe haven't ever realized: Did you know that Jesus still fishes... even though He's the rightful Captain of Spaceship Earth? Right now, He serves humanity as the Wise and Courageous Captain of Ark Jesus, Earth's Only Lifeboat, and He keeps His life-saving net always ready for quick use... even at a mere moment's notice! It's His Rescue Net, and it gets quite a lot of use, because it's essential to His plan for planet Earth.
Jesus is an expert fisherman as well as the trustworthy Captain of His awesome Life-Ship. He fishes for men and women, for human beings of all sorts and of all races. Jesus often fishes struggling human beings out of deadly waters... when they would otherwise perish in a fatal disaster. He nets people and lifts them out of a catastrophe, bringing them to safety aboard a ship I like to call Ark Jesus.
He's quite the Hero of the Greatest Adventure ever reported, and yet He still fishes, even today, even in our modern world. Yes, indeed! He rides quietly in His Ark, always searching for people He can rescue, and He's careful to keep that life-saving net always nearby! He'll jump up at any instant to use it successfully for another rescue. Never running out of emergencies, He always carries a Big Rescue Net aboard His ship.
Jesus was once in human form as a humble carpenter on our planet Earth, but today He is a lot more like a fisherman who is casting out a worldwide net!
If you are a borderline nut-case in need of medical help, you can be glad that Jesus is the One Who is after you with a net, instead of those guys in the white coats, who chase people with another kind of net.
On the other hand, if you are simply a stubborn jackass or a stiff-necked idiot, God may instead surprise you by walking up softly and walloping you in the head with a big stick! Or He may even hit you in the head with a 2" x 4" board, in order to get the jackass finally moving in the right direction. That usually happens only when you are a really sinful unbeliever or what Jesus called "a lazy and worthless servant." You really need to start giving Him your full attention!
I know what you're thinking. Jesus probably learned that little trick with the 2" x 4" board during his early years, back when He was just a humble carpenter in Israel! Maybe so! One thing's for sure: Jesus has used His construction skills to build for us a remarkably strong and sturdy Ark, a Lifeboat that He has created as part of His rescue mission to Earth... and only a very foolish and deceived person would ever fail to seek safety in that Ark.
Here's an explanation and elaboration of our humor, made for everybody, but especially for people in foreign countries who don't quite understand the humor of the above paragraphs!
You may recall that a former US President named Teddy Roosevelt once advised the public that a person should "walk softly and carry a big stick." I think maybe God has a stick too... a rather long one that he uses to wake up people who keep falling asleep every time they listen to a sermon! Sometimes God may have to tap you on the top of your head rather forcefully, just in order to get your attention-- to get you to wake up and see the real world.
And sometimes He may have to extend that staff to you so that He can rescue you from your own foolish error-- when you are drowning in a pit of Earth's quicksand, or when you are about to drown in Earth's deadly waters... in a grave misfortune, or in a sea of catastrophe.
Now, how can I say that Jesus sails quietly with a Big Net, but that He also, at the same time, "walks softly and carries a Big Stick"...? It's like this: Jesus is not only trying to catch a lot of fish-- He is also gathering a lot of sheep, and He's trying to lead these very dumb animals toward the safety of Heaven!
God can take a few fishes (a group of Christian believers) and some bread (the Word of God, the True Manna from Heaven) and with these, through Jesus Christ, He works a great miracle. God takes these few fishes and not only multiplies them but transforms them. The (human) fishes that Jesus seeks to catch are soon transformed into sheep that seek to follow after Him. We follow our Good Shepherd in the path as He leads us. As we do so, amazingly, we start to resemble-- just a little bit-- the wonderful Lamb of God!
But sheep are really stupid animals, and that's why Jesus carries not only a Big Net but a Big Stick.
In fact, the Bible tells us in Zechariah 11:7 that our Good Shepherd carries 2 staves (long wooden rods) very similar to the ones carried by ancient shepherds two thousand years ago. A shepherd then had one staff used to fight off wild animals, and another that was used to guide the sheep carefully through tight spots and difficult places. Zechariah says that our Good Shepherd has one staff named "Beauty" (or "Grace") and another called "Bands." It looks to me like He must use the first staff to fight off devils and dark forces that seek to steal/kill His sheep. The other stick, "Bands," is the one He uses to guide stupid sheep through the difficult places in our lives. That's the one that He uses to hit you on the head occasionally.
It helps you to keep going in the right direction, to stay on the path. It helps Him prod us so that we keep moving in the direction of Heaven, that safe pasture that is waiting for us at the end of our lives.
I'd say that when Jesus is leading a bunch of stupid sheep (often-erring Christians), it's a bit like a human being trying to ride a stubborn jackass. The donkey just doesn't want to go where it's supposed to go... and neither do His stupid sheep. That's where the Big Stick comes in mighty handy.
You see, Jesus expects of us that we help Him catch a lot of fish, whether it's by hook or by rook or by nook! He wants us to become fruitful trees in His Garden. He can use a former crook, or even a former snook... if He can just get you to pay attention! He's always after the big catch-- whether it's a full net, loaded up with a big catch of "153 fishes"... or a giant pen filled with a lot of rescued sheep that were saved from death just in the nick of time... or the many millions of people He can gather in through a system called the World Wide Net.
Jesus fishes with a big net. He knows the right spot to throw a net... just exactly where all the fish are hiding. So should we. You can get an awesome catch that way. You can get a big haul of fish and surprise yourself! You can catch a lot more than you will ever get by quietly sitting with an old fishing pole, by just waiting around for hours with a single fishing line dropped in the water... but, sadly, in the wrong spot. So I guess those of us who are Believers had all better get busy doing as He commanded...
If you've never been caught yet by the Safety Net of Jesus Christ, it's probably because you've been resisting the Truth your whole life long. But Jesus is still extending His staff to you, even now-- a life-saving stick that you really should grab. It's a stick that can rescue you when you are otherwise going to drown in the quicksand catastrophe of life. It's a rod that can correct your erring path and guide you to safety.
It's a rod of correction that will allow you, if you cooperate, to be lifted up and brought to safety aboard Ark Jesus. You will otherwise perish in the stormy seas of earthly life, just like so many other lost children. Take hold of the staff of Jesus Christ. Do it today, and you can be brought to safety in His eternal Life-Ship. With that staff of correction guiding you to the Truth and to His Heaven, you too can become one of the saved. Make Jesus your Shepherd, your Captain, and your King.
Jesus Christ alone deserves such honor and respect... when absolutely no one else does. You don't deserve it, nor do your foolish idols, nor does the Prince of This World. Give all honor and glory to the Holy One only... Jesus Christ, the One to Whom all honor is due.