How do I begin this story? Well let me start this way. I was born in New York City. My Dad worked in a long island fishing market. Every night when he came home, he would smell like every fish you could think of.
Dad would explain all the details of fishing to us. He would always say, (just like Pastor Rick would say in his sermons on Sundays) “give a man a fish when he is hungry, he will come back for more, but teach him how to fish, and he won’t come back”. The wisdom of our Dad was to make sure when we grew up, we would be men who would work and never ask for anything.
Years went by and Dad passed away. I went to work at the fish market. I got married and things were tough. I would buy some fish from the company, but it was expensive. Many of the men would go out to fish on weekends to save money.
One night I sat back and recalled all that Dad said about the equipment one needed to fish. So I saved up some money and got myself this fancy rod and lures, and said to myself I can do this.
Late one Saturday afternoon, I went down to the pier to get my first catch. As I walked up to the pier, there was an elderly man sitting there very quiet. I said hi how are you doing? He said doing fine son, how are you? He looked at me and said, is this your first time fishing son? I said yes, how do you know? I can tell by your fancy rod. He was sitting near a tin can full of fish. He sat on a piece of wood; shaped like an X. He had a rod made of wood, a strap and nails for a hook.
He said you know son, my father was a fisherman, he taught me and my brothers Jimmy, Andy, and Johnny quite a bit about fishing. Can you help me I asked? I hate to go back tonight with nothing. He said yes sure. You see, you are fishing on the wrong side of the pier. I am confused, what do you mean? The old man said now listen and learn. You see, we are facing north and the wind is blowing from south to west and turning the water rough. But here on the right side, or east, as he pointed, it was smooth. The fish are right there.
As a fisherman, one has to learn what direction one should go, and what kind or type of fish he will encounter, and how to deal with it. My father taught me and my brothers well. He said it took us about three years to learn how to fish. We made many mistakes, but our father was patient. So do not give up.
I cast my rod and down went the lure but nothing, not a bite. He came over and said “those lures do not work”. You see every type of fish knows and can see the real bait, whatever is make believe or fake they know, so here use the real bait. I cast again, all of a sudden the fish hit; I caught one of the biggest fish I had ever seen. I said what can I say sir? You have taught me a great lesson. Your father and brothers would be proud of you. How can I pay you back, what can I do? He took out a pencil, wrote on a piece of paper and wrapped it up. He said when you get home tonight read this over and over again.
I turned around and as I walked away, I looked back and he waved. I called out to him, what is your name? The wind picked up and I heard Peter. God Bless you Peter.
Going home, I met Pastor Rick now in his eighties. I stopped him and told him all that had happened. He smiled and said “let me see what he wrote”. As he read it, his face changed from a smile, then to tears and he said Praise God. I asked him what is wrong. He said nothing my son, be happy and rejoice. See here you told me his brother’s name was Jimmy. No, he wrote the names of James, Andrew, and John, they were the fishermen of Christ. He was their Dad. The one you talked to was Peter. He was calling you, just as Jesus called them and said “follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”. You see my son, as he turned and pointed to the church sign, what do you see? It said come Sunday and learn Matthew 4:18—20. Jesus is calling for fishers of men. This message is for you my son he said. Amen.
As a fisher of men you must seek and save the lost even as Christ sought and saved the lost.
The harvest is ripe and the task is urgent.
Preach the word of God. Correcting, rebuking, and exhorting people. Never, never give up in your ministry, of preaching the Word of God.
• Wood shaped like an x-cross
• Straps for his hands and feet
• Nails for Peter’s crucifixion
• Father – Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit
• He taught us – the great commission. Three years the ministry of Jesus
• Right side – Jesus said, Peter cast the net on the right side of the boat
• Direction to go – where they would go to teach the gospel
• Fish – is mankind
• Lures – false gospels, taught
• Bait – the true gospel taught
• Old Man – Peter
Frank Ferrera Sr.