Summary: The second in a series on the Commands of Christ. The command to "Follow Him that he might make us Fishers of Men."
The Commands of Christ
Sermon # 2
“Follow Me And I Will Make You
Fishers of Men”
Last Sunday evening we began a new series based on Christ words found in the Great Commission ( Matt 28:20) which stated “and teach them to observe all the things that I have commanded you.”
You will remember that we looked first at the Great Commission and where Jesus said in Matthew 28:19. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
The central core of the purpose of the church is outlined in these verses. There we discovered that the three components of the Great Commission are; Evangelize, Incorporate and Disciple.
First, Jesus says “go, therefore and make disciples of all nations.” We have to reach them with the gospel, we have to evangelize.
The second thing Jesus says that we must do is “… baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” In the command to “baptize” we see the importance of not only reaching the lost with the message of the Gospel but the need of incorporating these new believers into the body of Christ. The final part of the Great Commission could be called discipleship, “… teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” The word “teaching” here means “instruction.” This is to be instruction in “observing” or “keeping” the commands of Christ. Then we asked ourselves,
“But just what is it that we are to teach these new believers in Christ?” In a sense discipleship is being conscious of the “all those things commanded by Christ?” In the first sermon we considered Jesus’ first command as found in Matthew 4:17, which was “Repent for the kingdom of God is at Hand.”
Now We Need To Consider His Second Command Which Is:
“Follow Me And I Will Make You Fishers of Men” (Matt 4:18)
Tonight we want to turn to Matthew 4:18 and find the second command of Christ, “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen (19) Then he said to them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (20) And immediately they left their nets and followed him.”
Now underline in your Bible the words of verse 19, “follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
The command “follow me” (in the Greek an adverb of place expressing a command) is simple, “your place is following after me.”
Joseph Stowell (pastor of the Moody Church) identified our problem of the modern church well when he said, “We have become quite happy to call ourselves Christians with little or no thought of following” Paul Harvey said, “We have drifted away from being fishers of men to being keepers of the aquarium.”
In seeking to understand this command I want us to ask and answer five questions?
1. What Does it Mean To Follow Jesus?
“Follow me” is not the invitation to be saved, it is the call of the believer to service. It is no small decision to follow Jesus. It is possible to have heard the Lord’s teaching and still not be a disciple, to be a camp-follower without being a soldier, to be a hanger-on in some great work without pulling one’s weight.
To follow Christ is to set aside our own goals and pleasures and to embrace the purposes for which God created us. Those purposes are: to know Him in a personal way and to make disciples of others by teaching them all of Christ’s commands. All those who truly follow Christ must exchange their affections, goals and priorities for his.
When Jesus called Peter and Andrew their goal was to be successful fishermen. In asking them to forsake this goal, he commanded them to follow him and He would “make them fishers for men’s souls.” Jesus did not simply command His disciples to become fishers of men but rather He promised to make them fishers of men.
2. How does Fishing for Men Relate to Following Christ?
The common image of a fisherman in our day is of a man with a fishing pole casting a lure into the waters of a stream or a lake. However, such was not the case when Jesus called his disciples. They caught men with nets and by experience they found that their best fishing took place at night. We know that this is true by looking at Luke 5:5, when Jesus told Peter to cast his nets on the other side of the boat he said, “Master we have toiled all night and caught nothing never-theless at your word I will let down the net.” How did they fish at night? They used a very powerful and effective method, light. Fish were attracted to light.