Fishermen and the activity of fishing feature prominently in Jesus’ gospel and in Christianity. One of Jesus’ greatest miracles –that of feeding the 5,000 men, involved two fish and five loaves of bread.
It was also while passing by the Sea of Galilee that Jesus encountered two fishermen, brothers who would later join him in his Ministry; these were Simon and his brother Andrew, later to become some of Jesus’ first disciples.
It’s to these two that he also made one of the most memorable biblical quotes; “Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.”
Shortly after, Jesus is said to have met yet another set of brothers; James, son of Zebedee and his brother John also going about their fishing business. These too he conscripted into Ministry as his disciples.
Clearly, Jesus had a thing for fishermen and if he were to return to earth today, it’s likely he would do it all over again.
Fishermen have the advantage of unprecedented reach. They cover so much ground (or water for that matter) in the course of their work, in the process interacting with so many people from different societies. So assuming Jesus returned today, in Rwanda, perhaps his first stop would be Gisenyi, to comb the shores of Lake Kivu for hardened fishermen. Let’s look at some of the professions today that Jesus would consider in the search of disciples;
Jesus would probably also make stops at prominent media houses to skim off some of the most gifted scribblers to disseminate his gospel. The reason is simple: journalists are mass communicators. Every day, they reach out to multitudes of people through different mediums like newspapers, magazines, radio and TV.
One thing about teachers is that their job automatically comes with moral implications and responsibilities. They are generally expected to be of good conduct and a positive influence on learners even outside of their job description.
Teachers play a great role in shaping the conduct, morality and world view of those under them.
Jesus would most probably want to recruit teachers at the earliest stages of learning, those handling learners whose minds are still a blank slate to be written on. He would likely go for preschool, kindergarten and elementary school teachers.
However, his interest in university dons and professors would likely not be as great.
This category is broad, as it encompasses a whole range of disciplines; musicians, visual artists, actors, dancers, poets and spoken word artists and comedians, although I’m not sure if he would seriously take on comedians. The problem with comedians is that they are generally considered habitual jokers. You have heard people complain that they never get to know when a comedian is serious and when they are just goofing around.
Under this category, musicians would most likely be Jesus’ first choice, seeing as gospel music has been one of the key avenues through which the gospel has been propagated over the years.
Jesus would probably also want to tap into the persuasive oral communication skills of professional trumpet blowers (read Masters of Ceremony or simply MCs).
Having watched MCs; Tino, Anita Pendo and Ange Umulisa doing their thing at various gigs around the country, I’m convinced that these people can sell almost any agenda.
Drivers and taxi moto riders:
Generally speaking, travel evokes a deep sense of vulnerability in most people.
Now imagine if every bus ride you took started off with the driver asking for journey mercies from the heavens on behalf of the passengers.
Before you take off, the driver makes a polite reminder to his passengers that the journey will be safe and sound only by God’s grace, as opposed to his experience and qualifications from driving school and Control Technique. Upon arrival at your destination, before disembarking, the chauffeur again reminds you that it’s because of God or Jesus you made it safely.
So public transport drivers would be a good option to contemplate. Taxi motos would have been another great option but their undoing is that they carry a single passenger at a time.
Hairdressers, hair stylists and cosmetologists:
Other than offer their clients’ stale celebrity gossip magazines to while away the time as their hair gets styled, salon people could instead give the same clients tidbits of ‘The Word’.
Hair stylists would serve Jesus’ purpose well, seeing as a salon experience is generally a feel-good experience. People go to salons when they are happy, or at least leave the salon happy after that makeover. Most importantly, the typical salon session (especially for the ladies) takes a bit of time –time that is spent doing nothing in particular, apart from sitting meekly under the dryer and reading stale celebrity gossip in those glossy celebrity magazines.
In modern times, one of the places where religious ministry is most active is prisons and detention facilities. This is because prison is synonymous with negative states of mind like despair, uncertainty, desperation and hopelessness. While on the other hand, Jesus and the word of God represent hope.
To have a disciple from the Rwanda Correctional Services or from Gereza 1930 would go a long way in demonstrating that Jesus indeed came to redeem the outcasts in society.
Doctors, nurses and midwives:
Doctors are at the very core of life itself. If anything, most times a visit to the doc is a matter of life and death. Doctors are usually skilled, kind, empathetic, rational and dutiful. The medical profession is among the most respected because where would humanity be without doctors?
When a doctor heals a patient of a difficult ailment or condition, they attain near Godly status from the beneficiary of their healing hands. Many are the people who believe that God uses doctors to heal His people.
What about the miracle of childbirth and the midwives who see to it that mothers have safe deliveries every day?
Doctors would definitely make for good disciples and for one more reason: everybody needs their services at some point in their lives.
Lawyers and politicians:
These two are one and the same. A lawyer will stand in court and convince you that the man on trial for raping over 10 women was probably just bewitched and that he is in fact a good man and should not be punished for things he doesn’t understand.
Politicians are known to make promises that will most likely never see the light of day. But they are also very convincing and that is what Jesus would probably need, someone to convince the masses to follow him.
Since Jesus is literally the ‘Truth’, you can see why he would be tempted to avoid lawyers. But he loves us the way we are so he probably would call on one to follow him and maybe encourage others to see the light.
Lucy Ruhinda, model
Jesus would choose teachers as his disciples because his number one goal was to teach God’s word. There is no better profession suitable for this role.
Amy Sugira, IT specialist
His teachings involved feeding the hungry and taking care of the poor, orphans and widows. That, according to him, was true salvation. Social workers working for NGOs would ease the work.
Veronica Tindichebwa, radio personality and comedian
I honestly think he would first choose politicians because they are in dire need of his intervention. Celebrities, especially international ones, also need divine intervention. I think even journalists would make it to his list because professional journalism went to the dogs. False reporting is all we see in most dailies. Journalists today are like Judas Iscariot, money will make them do the most questionable things.
Rachel Kansiime, student - University of Tourism, Technology and Business Studies (UTB)
I think doctors would certainly make it to his list. They help people and even though Jesus has the power to heal anyone, he could use the help of a doctor in cases when they are not with him. Doctors are honest and kind and try to keep us alive, and for that alone, Jesus would likely call on one to follow him.
Alpha Rwirangira, artiste
He would choose IT specialists because of the way the world is currently obsessed with technology and social media. Forming apps would make his word go viral, it would be a faster way to draw attention from people all over the world. That way, his mission would be easily accomplished.
Flavia Osem, restaurant manager
In this era, I think none at all. He would probably just go straight to the cross. Even beggars are crooks. You try to help and they end up robbing you. Why would he even need disciples? We are all waiting for his arrival so we can follow him. When he comes everyone will be good to go.
Martha Kaboggoza, businesswoman
No profession. No one. We are a lost cause! Let’s take the priests; we all know the saga that the Vatican is covering up. We shall not even start with the politicians. The teachers, well, some, then you have those that only promote your child if they are greased well, those that have affairs with students.
Basically we have issues and where in this day and age are you going to get 12 grown men to follow around another man without the promise of rewards?