Becoming Fishers of Men

Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. 16 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. 17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. 19 And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. 20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.

No matter how long we’ve been saved we’re in contact with someone who needs to be saved.  We get comfortable and don’t think a lot about it. The “want to” is there but the “go ahead” isn’t. You might like to go fishing but until you go you haven’t gone fishing. I’ve got in the habit of running by Walmart and the one in Bristol is used to me and gets coffee ready when they see me. We need to get used to witnessing instead of using this false modesty that some of us have about being too bashful to talk to others.

Peter and Andrew were casting their nets to fish when Jesus called them. James and John were mending their nets when Jesus called them.To each of them Jesus said “come….and I will make you fishers of men…” They had a love for the sea and fishing. It was their passion and their trade; they made a living at it. Jesus used this as a word picture for what he wanted to do with them.

Jesus is the lifeline. Salvation is the hook. Someone needs to take the pole to others. When Jesus said Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men he was telling these men they would have everything they needed to become something greater. They would help not only their families but others to be saved. It’s an honor to be used by the Lord to reach others who are lost. I don’t know how successful their fishing had been that day but Jesus promised them souls.

James and John were mending their nets. Sometimes our net gets frayed. It if has been a long time since you witnessed, mend your net and cast it out again. You know how to do it. Jesus said he’d make us to become fishers of men–soul winners.  It should become natural. We have to be willing. We don’t need a degree or have to pass a bunch of tests. Give thought to how you were saved and how others witnessed to you. They prayed for you and told you they were doing so. It doesn’t take a fancy pole to fish. If you want to hunt, you just need a gun. To fish you need the pole, the line, the hook, and the bait. Sometimes we don’t bait. We’re not mindful of the lost around us. We should create a hunger in those around us to be saved. Jesus said he’d show us how.

Being a witness is simple. A few years ago Ronnie put a new roof on our house. Since then I’ve been telling people if they need a roofer, Ronnie is the man. That’s being a witness. It’s easy. Jesus has done more for us than a roofer or anyone else has. It ought to be easy to witness about him. Maybe we need to follow the words of an old song: “get all excited, tell everybody that Jesus Christ is King.” Being a witness involves giving direction. Tell them how to be saved. It takes faith in Jesus that he is God’s son who died and was raised again. It takes admittance that we’re sinners and calling on the name of the Lord to be saved. That’s not hard.

Jesus will make us to become fishers of men if that’s what we desire. It takes patience, persistence, and faithfulness. If you’re faithful but see no one saved, you’ve still been faithful. If fish don’t want to bite they won’t. You can’t force them but you can’t use that as an excuse not to do it. Keep fishing! This world is bad but God hasn’t written people off. If he had the church would not still be here. Mind two words:  follow me. Jesus will lead us through the path. Be ready to become a fisher of men.

After the resurrection the disciples had been out fishing all night. Jesus was on the shore and called out asking if they had caught anything. Jesus will ask us one day if we’ve caught any fish. So don’t give up. Get the fishing poles out. Today may be the day that you catch a soul for Jesus.

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