Vol. 4, No. 1
~ Page 6 ~
When Jesus was growing up, there was no electricity. There were no televisions or radios. There were no computers and thus no email. People could not communicate quickly like we can do today.
Most villages had a town crier. Jesus would have grown up hearing the town crier. The orders of the local governor were communicated by the town crier. Other very important news was also communicated by the town crier.
The crier would normally wait until the evening when most of the people would be in their homes after returning from the fields. He would go up on the roof of the highest house in the village. From there, he would begin with a long drawn out call. Some reports have said that the crier resembled a distant, prolonged railroad whistle. (Obviously, these reports are from much later times than the first century.) Then he would cry out the news that everyone was to hear.
Jesus sent the twelve apostles out and told them in Matthew 12:27, "What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops." This verse is in reference to the miraculous inspiration that they would have in preaching the Gospel. But the principle still holds for us today.
The Gospel is God's Word. The Bible is his instruction to us. The Great Governor has information that we are to give to every person. We should be like the town crier. We should be willing to yell the good news out from the highest rooftop. In other words, we should be telling everyone about the Bible. We should be telling everyone how to become a Christian. Be a town crier.
"Now as he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men" (Mark 1:16-17).
There were several types of nets that fishermen used in the first century. The net used in the Scripture above and in Matthew 4:18 was a casting net. It was shaped like the top of a tent but was inverted or upside down.
The net used in Matthew 13:47-48 was a dragnet or seine. It was sometimes a half mile long. It swept through the sea and trapped fish of all kinds.
The net used in Luke 5:4-9 was a bagnet used in deep waters. The opening of the net closed at the boat when the fishermen believed they had caught enough fish.
Each net was used in specific waters and normally was used to catch different kinds of fish. Jesus told the disciples that he wanted to make them fishers of men. The Gospel is what is used to fish for men. We cannot change the content of the Gospel, but we can use different approaches for different men.
We might give someone a tract to read. We might preach over the radio or television. We might study with someone in his home. We might invite someone to hear the Bible preached in a Gospel meeting. We might teach someone over the Internet. All of these approaches are different types of nets, but the nets are all made up of the pure Gospel contained in the Bible.
Keep studying your Bible. Learn how to be a fisher of men. Get the wisdom of God.
Coatpocket New Testament & Psalms