Summary: Good fishermen always EXPECT to catch fish, even if they don’t.
This is the third message from the Gospel According to Mark. I was walking along the shores of the Sea of Galilee just a few days ago where Jesus called His disciples. I got up before sunrise and went out with my Bible to watch the same sun rise over the same mountains around the same lake where Jesus walked. After the sunrise, I saw a fishing boat chugging out to spread a net to catch fish.
I was reminded again that the story of Jesus isn’t some religious myth. It’s a real story about real people and how Jesus changed their lives.
Mark 1:14-20 (quickview) . “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!’ As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.”
Jesus didn’t say, “Follow rules.” He said, “Follow me.” The Christian life isn’t a bunch of rules, regulations, and rituals. It is simply following Jesus. Salvation isn’t in a creed embracing beliefs. Salvation isn’t in a creek getting baptized. Salvation is in Christ.
When we follow Jesus we want to do what He does. Jesus didn’t come primarily to heal. If that had been his focus, He would have established a hospital. He didn’t come primarily to teach or else He would have founded a school. He came to seek and to save that which is lost. When we follow Him that will be our passion as well.
Fishing for men means bringing people to Jesus. Do you know why Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John to be fishers of men? Because they were already fishermen. They knew how to catch fish. When Jesus called Matthew, the tax collector, He didn’t tell him to fish for men. But Matthew went fishing anyway; he hosted a dinner so all of his tax-collector buddies could meet Jesus.
Jesus wants you to use whatever you already know to bring people into a relationship with Him. For instance, here’s what He might say to you according to your profession: If you’re a banker or investment advisor He might say, “Follow me and you can tell people about the best eternal investment they’ll ever make.” If you’re an Educator, He might say, “Follow me and you’ll teach eternal truth.” If you’re a CPA He might say, “Follow me and I’ll show you how to help people balance their lives.” If you’re a physician, “Follow me and I’ll show you how to practice spiritual healing.” If you’re in sales, “Follow me and you can sell the world’s greatest product – eternal life.” If you’re a builder, “Follow me and you’ll show people how to build stable lives.” If you’re a dentist, “Follow me and you can fill the void in people’s lives.” Whatever it is that you do, Jesus wants you to use what you know to bring people into a relationship with Him. So, what would He say to you? “Follow me and … you fill in the blank.”