And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. ~Matthew 4:19
There are two kinds of fishing. There is recreational or sports fishing which is done as a hobby and past time. There is commercial fishing where fishing is done as a livelihood. Our devotion this morning centers on men who did fishing as their livelihood. These men had lucrative and thriving fishing businesses that helped the seaside communities of Galilee. These men, who knew everything about fishing the Sea of Galilee, would be challenged to take on the ultimate fishing challenge. These men would be challenged to become fishers of men.
We see a sovereign summons.
Jesus is walking the shores of the Sea of Galilee and has His eyes on Peter and Andrew. He makes what I call a riveted summons. It is the call of the Lord of the Harvest to help Him reach the world with gospel. It is also a repeated summons. He not only called Peter and Andrew, but He also called James and John. The Lord still is calling for Christians to obey Him and get involved with witnessing and winning souls. These men fished for a living. Jesus was calling them to fish for living souls. Jesus is still calling believers to enlist as fishers of men.
We see the Savior’s stipulation.
He said, “Follow me.” Jesus has a proven strategy for fishing for men: we must follow Him. We must follow Him in His passion. Passion is having a strong desire for people to get saved. People with passion yearn to see others saved. We must follow Him in His pattern. Study the gospels and see how Jesus teaches us how to win souls. We see Him reaching a Samaritan woman, a tax collector named Zacchaeus, a publican named Matthew, a blind man named Bartimaeus, a woman possessed with demons named Mary Magdalene, and many others. Jesus never went to a wrong address or to the wrong person. Following Jesus means we must be committed to working hard, being steadfast, and accomplishing His will in the lives of men.
We see the substantial surrender.
Peter, Andrew, James, and John had to make a decision. Would they just be casual observers, or would they follow Jesus in becoming fishers of men? The Bible tells us that each of these men left their nets and followed Him. With James and John, we are told that they not only left their nets, but they left their father as well. Surrender is when we completely obey the Lord. It is when we let go of any say we have. It is when we have no reservations and do not try to change the mandate. Leaving their nets meant they would trust the Lord for their results. When we look at the surrender of these men, all four left their nets immediately.
We see the surefire success.
Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” He guarantees that He will transform us into consistent and copious fishers of men. It is the guarantee that souls will be saved. It is the guarantee of fruit that remains. It is the guarantee that we will come back with rejoicing, bringing our sheaves with us.
The Lord is calling out for men and women to join Him for the ultimate fishing experience. This is committing ourselves to casting our nets on the right side of the ship, and watching as our Lord blesses us with a draught of fishes! Let’s go after souls! Let’s stop making excuses, and do what it takes to see people place their trust in Christ as their Savior!
Have a soul-conscious God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Jeremiah 4-6