Be Fishers of Men

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“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt 4 :19)

 

We’re gonna look at the whole idea of fishing for “Men” and the lost souls of this world.

 

You know people tease me a lot about the fact that I’m always using an analogy to describe how or why something works. But a lot of times my analogies are silly or they might be harder to understand then what I was trying to explain in the first place.

 

But most of the time an analogy helps us to see things that were hard to see. Thankfully Jesus’ analogies weren’t so tough to understand.

 

But what I have found is that with Jesus analogies or parables, if you look deeper you will find that He has not chosen the analogy casually.

 

So let’s look at this analogy or parable being made by Jesus and see if we can get more

 

Matthew 4:18-22

18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19″Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20At once they left their nets and followed him.

 21Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

 

The brothers Simon (Peter) and Andrew, and the sons of thunder the brothers James and John were fishermen.

 

Now we find out in the first chapter of John that this wasn’t the first time that they had encountered Jesus, but what we are see here is the moment when he is calling them into service.

 

So when Jesus said to Simon and Andrew, come follow me, they would have known just what he meant to be fishers.  They would have understood that it involved more than just deciding that they wanted fish. It would take preparation, patients, and hard work. They would have also known that there would be of fun as well.

 

So how many fishermen do we have in the group today.

 

What are the steps we have to take in order to fish?

 

Well the first you have to decide you’re gonna fish:

 

Our extended family vacation used to be taking a trip to Faye Lake, Wisconsin. At Faye Lake you are fishing for Northern Pike and I always found that the best fishing was between 5:30 am and 8am and late afternoon.

 

Now my son, who was a teenager at that time, always wanted to go fishing. But at 5am when I would knock on his door his enthusiasm waned a bit. He didn’t catch much fish.

 

 

Don’t be “wishy washy” about it.  You will find that far fewer fish are caught by those who don’t care then someone who has made a commitment to catching fish. 

 

Don’t get distracted.  Ask the father of a little boy how many fish he caught while fishing with his boy. But remember sometimes we all have to be a teacher. We all had to be taught at one point or another and that sacrifice will put more fish in the family boat.

 

 Matthew 4:18-22

 

18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20At once they left their nets and followed him.


21Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

 

Choose a good Guide:

 

When we first went to Faye Lake we knew nothing about fishing for Northern Pike. The fact is that I didn’t fish much at all. The family members we went with told us some things, but they also said that the guy who knew the most was a guy names Ken Novi. They jokingly called him Obi Wan KenNovi.

 

Novi had a bait shop and it was a mess. The building was an old pole barn that had old boat parts, refrigerators, abandoned cars, and junk all strewn out in front of it. He live in a old trailer beside the building and he would have reminded you of a an old mountain man from the movies. Gruff, grumbly, and a bit ornery. But ask him about catching Northern and he lit up like a Kid at Christmas. Ken knew where all of the best places on the lake where. He knew just the right bait. He would spend time with each person that asked explaining how to cast and retrieve. And Heaven help you if you talked about gas motors on his lake.

 

When you start your journey you will be unfamiliar with the waters. What kind of fish are here? What kind of bait will work? Where do I fish? As often as not using your own common since does not work in foreign waters.  A good guide knows the water.  In fact, you night thinks a great guide invented the fish.

 

Luke 5:1-11

1One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[1] with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, 2he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down[2] the nets for a catch.”

5Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

6When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

11Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

 

Remember the Boss doesn’t care how big it is…

 

Many people decide that they are only going trophy fishing. “ I am only going to keep the fish if it is the biggest one caught on the lake.”  This can influence the way they fish, the bait they use and the fun they have on the way. But most of all the family has less fish. Sometimes you have more luck if you just go fishing for small ones and have fun.

 

God doesn’t care how big the fish is, he wants them all. In fact it could be said he loves them all. Don’t forget to enjoy the fishing.

 

Matthew 18:10-14

10“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.[1]
12“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

 

 

Revelation 2:3-5
3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

 

How to Clean your Catch:

 

It is not enough to catch fish and throw them back when we are talking about this form of fishing. You must prepare each one for the feast.  In other words, you must stay with your new friend in Christ. Encourage them, teach them about the things that made you feel assured, welcome, and loved.

 

In 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy Paul explains to a young new Pastor that he now only needs to lead them to the Lord’s truth, but he needs to nurture them and mature them.

 

He instructed him to: Teach them how to worship, Teach them how to participate in God’s family, How to care for each other, How to encourage their faith.

 

John 6:1-15
1Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. 3Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4The Jewish Passover Feast was near.
5When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages[1] would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
8Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

 

Even fishing can be Hard Work

 

Matthew 11:28


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

 

It is true…

There were times when I would have spent the whole week getting up at 5am coming back for breakfast, leave again and come back for lunch, go out again and come back as the sun went down.  Then we would sit together on the porch and I would be worn out. But there was joy in being worn out.

 

You know being fishers of men can wear you out. 

 

We have to admit to ourselves that ministering to people can take energy from you. Jesus withdrew from the crowed and went to be by himself. He would relax and plug-in with the Father.

 

Matt 4:11b “Angels came and attended him”

Matt 8:24 “Jesus was sleeping”

Matt 14:23-24 “23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone”

Matt 11:28 “28″Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

 

 

But the joy that he found in His fishing was what saved our lives.

 

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About toddcbrown

The body of Christ will never grow if the Pastor is the one using his gifts to MAKE IT grow through some cool program or inspiring turn of a phrase.
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