Summary: Peter had a mediocre career going until Jesus offered Him a promotion to be a fisher of men. From that point on, the catches he would get were eternal and satisfying beyond measure.

Let’s Go Fishing

Prairie Baptist Church – 12/6/09

A.M. Service

Text: Mark 1:16-20

Key verse: Mark 1:17 - Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”

Premise: Peter had a mediocre career going until Jesus offered Him a promotion to be a fisher of men. From that point on, the catches he would get were eternal and satisfying beyond measure.

The Introduction

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The story goes that Mark Twain loved to go fishing, but he hated to catch fish. The problem was he went fishing to relax, and catching fish ruined his relaxation, since he had to take the fish off the hook and do something with it. When he wanted to relax by doing nothing, people thought he was lazy, but if he went fishing he could relax all he wanted. People would see him sitting by the river bank and they would say, “Look, he’s fishing, don’t bother him.” So Mark Twain had the perfect solution: he would take a fishing pole, line, and a bobber, but he wouldn’t put a hook on the end. He would cast the bobber in the water and lay back on the bank. That way he could relax all he wanted and he would be bothered neither by man nor fish. Mark Twain is like a lot of Christians I know. They have their pole in the water, but there is no hook on the end. They are not fishing; they are relaxing. Do you think this is what Jesus had in mind when he said, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”? (Matthew 4:19).

(Peter had been introduced and knew about Jesus earlier-John 1:35-42)

Here, Peter and Andrew are fishing and not to much a distance down the way are John and James getting ready to fish as well.

Jesus comes along and calls them to follow Him with a unique offer: becoming fishers of men.

He came and spoke to them in a manner that helped them understand what He wanted them to do.

He says the same thing to each one of us.

But what does “fishing for men” really mean?


1. Spiritual Fishing Is A Calling, Not A Gift (17 - Jesus called to them to follow Him)

A. A calling of privilege – 1st Thess. 2:4 - But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.

i. God has placed his trust in us as His children

ii. He has called us to represent Him to others

B. A calling of necessity – Luke 19:10 - for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

i. It is necessary because they are lost

ii. He is not sending us on a seek and destroy mission but a seek and save mission

iii. While we do not do the saving, we are instrumental in God’s work of saving.

C. A calling of reconciliation – 2nd Cor. 5:18-19 - 18Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

i. God lets us have a role in the peace talks

ii. When the Atom Bomb was dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, there was not a whole lot of room left for bargaining for the Japanese. It was either surrender or get more of the same.

iii. With God, it is not about bargaining but an offer of the cessation of hostilities.

D. A calling of joy – Rom. 10:15 - And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”

i. Fishers of men have happy feet.

ii. Did you ever notice how your feet can affect how the rest of your body feel? When your feet are hot the rest of your body is hot. When your feet are uncomfortable, the rest of your body is uncomfortable. Take care of your feet and you will feel better. Having beautiful feet not only means that they take you places but that you radiate the love of Christ in your life. It is a joy that affects you.

2. Spiritual Fishing Is Expected, Not Requested (17 – This was command to obey)

A. An interesting cartoon shows a fourth-grade boy standing toe-to-toe and nose-to-nose with his teacher. Behind them stares a blackboard covered with math problems the boy hasn’t finished.

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