Day 34: Fisher of men

LoveSingapore // August 3, 2019, 12:01 am prayer day 34

Photo courtesy of LoveSingapore

Bible reading for 40.DAY 2019 | August 3: Acts 15:7

Peter hails from the Golan Heights.

His hometown Bethsaida was a fishing village east of the Jordan and north of the Sea of Galilee (John 1:44). In Peter’s day, this area was overrun by Gentiles. Jews were a minority.

Archaeologists have dug up pork bones in Bethsaida, but no sign of any major Jewish presence in the first century. The un-kosher meats in Peter’s vision in Acts 10 would have reminded him of his hometown wet market.

Andrew and Philip were also from Bethsaida (John 1:44). Their names are Greek. So when a company of Greeks sought an audience with Jesus in Jerusalem, they naturally approached Philip who, along with Andrew, represented them to Jesus (John 12:20-22).

Peter was a bridge-builder, a unifier, a pastor for all peoples, and ever a fisher of men.

So what difference does it make?

It means that Peter grew up in a multi-cultural setting. He probably spoke Greek as a second language. Like Philip and Andrew, his Golanite roots helped prepare him to build bridges between culturally distant peoples: Between Judean and diaspora Jews, between Jews and Samaritans, and between Jews and Gentiles.

And so, as it turns out, Peter was not only an apostle to Jews. He was also a cross-cultural communicator of the Gospel from the Day of Pentecost until he finished his course in Rome.

His first sermon in Acts bore witness to Jewish pilgrims from every nation under heaven (Acts 2:5-11). His vision of the international buffet in Joppa liberated him to visit and eat with Gentiles in Caesarea. There he became the first New Testament missionary to the Gentiles (Acts 10:1-45).

When taken to task for this by the Church in Jerusalem, he put all the blame on God: The Spirit told me to go (Acts 11:12).

In the Apostolic Council of Acts 15, conservative believers tried to impose circumcision and the Law on the Gentile Christians of Antioch. Peter stood up and defended the divine right of every ethnic group to follow Jesus without converting to Judaism.

This enabled the Church to become a community of faith for every people under heaven.

The mission of God had no better friend than Peter. He was a bridge-builder, a unifier, a pastor for all peoples, and ever a fisher of men. He knew how and when to cast his net on the other side. Do we?


  • God is the Lord of history. He used seemingly insignificant things in Peter’s background to make him a bridge and a bridge-builder for the Gospel to Jews and Gentiles – from Galilee to Judea, from Antioch to Rome. Pause and give thanks to God for His power and providence in Peter’s life.
  • God is the Lord of your history. Think of your lineage, kampung, mother tongue, education, profession, talents, hobbies, interests, and so on. Things that seem incidental in your life, God wants to use as stepping stones and bridges for the Gospel.
    Even the greatest disappointments can become divine appointments. Your retrenchment, your health crisis, your bereavement, your failed romance, your university rejection, whatever. God works all things together for good for those who love Him and live for His purpose (Romans 8:28).
    But do you resent your background? Are you angry with God for the setbacks in your life?
    Pause. Ponder. Pray.
    Ask God for new eyes to see how He can use the details of your story to open hearts and minds to the Gospel. Who are the people He has allowed to cross your path? Who has He prepared for you to reach?
    Ask Him to show you. Make a list. Pray over these names daily. Build bridges. Trust God. Boldly fish for souls.
  • God is the Lord of Singapore’s history. What Bethsaida was for Peter and his world, Singapore is for Asia and our world. We are one of the most diverse nations on earth in terms of race, language, and religion. This is no accident. This is Antioch!
    God has uniquely shaped this Little Red Dot to play a vital part in reaching the unreached peoples of Asia and beyond. Why else do you think we have the most powerful passport in the world?
    Within a seven-hour flight radius of Singapore, there are still thousands of unreached peoples. These are distinct ethnic groups that do not have enough churches and resources to evangelise their own communities without cross-cultural workers from the outside. They need our help.
    Pray: Lord of the Nations, we thank You for Singapore – our geography, history, demographics, political stability, economic success, religious freedom, global influence, and so much more. You are weaving everything together wonderfully for Your global mission: A church for every people, the Gospel for every person.
    We were once a small fishing village like Bethsaida. Today, we are a sprawling metropolis. But we are not satisfied. We dream, we yearn, we pray. Make us a deep sea fishing hub for the souls of men! Raise up many more fishers of men – young and old, from all walks of life – to cast our nets deep and wide.
    Grant us courage to put our lives on the line, with great teamwork, patience, and determination. Favour us with miraculous catches of fish wherever You send us. To God be the glory!

Read the devotional from Day 33, August 2: Solid as a rock here

About the author


Founded in 1995, LoveSingapore is a unity movement motivated by love, fuelled by prayer, and inspired by a common vision: God's greatest glory seen through a life changed, a church revived, a nation transformed, and a world evangelised.