Summary: This sermon is about learning how to fish in Jesus' way.
Matthew 3: 12 – 23 / Been Fishin’ Lately?
Intro: Any historian should be able to tell you what significant event took place in 1809. Two major events were taking place that captured the headlines of the newspapers of the day: The Peninsula War was raging in Spain and Napoleon had invaded Austria. Seven significant births took place that year: Wm Gladstone, one of England’s greatest Prime Ministers, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Edgar Allan Poe, Louis Braille, Felix Mendelssohn, Charles Darwin, and Abraham Lincoln. Sometimes, the most significant events seem insignificant at the time; but, prove over time to be monumental.
I. Was that the case that day long ago when Jesus commanded some fishermen to come follow him? On the surface, it doesn’t seem to be such a significant thing.
A. VS. 19 – OPISSO – Follow me! The Greek word is not a suggestion. The word is in the imperative, it is a command. YOU, FOLLOW ME!
B. VS. 20 – EUTHUS – “And immediately” They didn’t even question! What is wrong with these guys? Would you just pick up and go with a stranger who comes to you and says, “YOU THERE, COME WITH ME!?”
C. Have you ever been doing something you didn’t really want to do and someone calls or comes along and says, “Come on! Let’s do . . . and you went because you were bored or didn’t really want to be doing the task anyway, or you were looking for the first excuse to quit!
II. I have to admit, if I were fishing and someone came along and offered me something different to do, I would probably do in a heartbeat. I don’t like fishing! I’ve tried it and I hate it! I don’t like getting my hands dirty with the bait, I can’t sit still long enough and the worst thing is you can’t talk!
A. I have no problem imagining why Simon Peter and Andrew were so quick to drop their nets and leave. For me, almost anything would be better than fishing.
B. The problem is this; Jesus wasn’t calling them to stop fishing. He was calling them to change what they were fishing for . . .VS. 19 – “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (literal translation – “I WILL MAKE YOU BECOME FISHERS OF MEN.”)
C. I’ll show you how! I’ll teach you. Just rely on me!
III. As followers of Christ Jesus, we are all called to fish for people.
A. Often, we are willing to fish; but, we want to do the fishing our own way. We don’t want to rely on Jesus to teach us HIS way of fishing because we think we know a better way.
B. Some followers of Jesus don’t even want to fish! We don’t like to fish. Fish stink. There aren’t any fish left in this place. Someone else has already caught all the fish. If any fish still exist, you have to know where to find them. Still another problem is that you have to have the right equipment to catch fish and equipment is expensive.
C. All these things may be true; but, the plain and simple fact is that Christ Jesus is still calling us to fish! So how do we go about fishing?
Conclu: Mary’s mother asked her to run an errand for her shortly before supper. Mary dashed away to the store to get a loaf of bread. But supper was on the table and the family all gathered and still no Mary. Finally, she came skipping in with the loaf of bread. Her mother scolded her for fooling around on the way home. Mary said she had seen Susan and Susan’s doll just broke. Her mother asked, “Did you help Susan fix her doll?” “No,” Mary replied. “I helped her cry!” --- That’s how we are to fish! We are to be there along side those who need to hear the gospel; but, more importantly, feel the gospel in their lives. People need to feel the gospel from our helping hand. Been fishin’ lately?