Summary: A challenge to go fishing - for souls. quit being just a sponge that soaks up the Word of God. Let God squeeze you.
Catching Fish With Jesus
Matt. 4:18-22 and Lk. 5:1-11
Tonight I want to talk about fishing. As I look out into my audience tonight I can see a lot of fishermen. Some of you have been fishing for over fifty years. My dad wasn’t one for fishing and so I didn’t learn how to fish until I was over 30 years old. I’ve learned a couple of things about fishing; it can be addictive and exciting. You’re never too young to fish or too old to go fishing. Ms. Annie Mae is over 90 years old and she still goes fishing every week.
No matter how good a fisherman that you think you are, you’re never so good that you can’t learn from a master. This is the case in our text for tonight. Jesus was about to give His disciples a lesson in fishing.
I want us to notice several things about Jesus’ lesson in fishing.
I. These Disciples Were Professional Fishermen.
They knew how to catch fish - but not men. This is a lesson in discipleship - on becoming a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. Why People Don’t Go Fishing.
1. They don’t know how. - never been
2. They don’t want to. - indifference
3. They don’t like fish. - fish smell
4. They are afraid of the water. - Fear
a. Might drown
b. Might catch too big a fish (shark)
c. Might run the fish off for everyone else.
Illustration - Recently on the old Andy Griffith show they had a story about the first day of the fishing season. Everybody was getting out their equipment and talking about the big day. Along came "Howard (no relation), the town ’jinx’ and nobody wanted to go with him. He would ruin the fishing for everyone else. The end result was that soft-hearted Andy gave in and took Howard with him. And you guessed it. Guess who caught the illusive biggest fish in the lake that everyone had been trying to catch for years.
Maybe you’re afraid that you might make a mistake and scare someone off if you witness to them. My reply is this, "Which Hell are you going to send them to, the second Hell or the third Hell".
III. Fish Facts
1. No one ever drifts into a lifestyle of fishing. - No one ever drifts into a lifestyle of evangelism.
2. There are more fish being born everyday than there are being caught. - Jesus said the fields are white unto harvest.
3. The primary reason that people are not catching fish is that they are not fishing. - Less than 5% of Christians ever lead one soul to Christ.
4. The two main reasons that people do not catch fish are:
a. Don’t know how.
b. Don’t see any need to fish.
The two main reasons that people do not share their faith are:
a. Don’t know how/
b. Don’t see the need.
5. We need to learn how to fish.
a. Formal lessons
b. On the job training
Illustration - I became a Christian over 30 years ago while a young man in the Navy. I was so excited about being saved that I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I told everybody I could. One day a waitress in a diner saw me with my Bible and began to tell me about her life. I had only been a Christian for two weeks. Try as I could. I didn’t know enough about the Bible to lead her to Christ. I went back to the base that night and determined to learn how to lead a person to Christ. I began to read gospel tracts and learn the scriptures in them.
A few days later a new sailor was sent to my barracks. I begin to tell him about what had happened to me and ask him if he wanted to be a Christian also. He said, "yes". I about panicked. What do I do now. I opened up one of my tracts and read it to him. At the end it said if you want to become a Christian to pray this prayer. And he did. As Paul Harvey would say’ this is not the end of the story.
Twenty-five years later a balding, fifty year old man walked up to where I was working, and ask, "are you Howard McGlamery." I said "yes." He said, "My name is Frank G., you led me to Christ 25 years ago. He’s married to a fine Christian woman and has been faithful to the Lord these past 25 years.
6. Fishermen take every opportunity they can to go fishing.
7. You need fishing gear.
8. You need to go on fishing trips.
9. You use different bait for different fish.