Summary: We are not called by Christ to talk about fishing for people or wait until we have the proper equipment or bait. We are called to fish.
Matthew 4: 12 – 23 / What Do I Use For Bait?
Intro: Some people just love to fish! --- No offense intended to those who love it; but, I HATE IT! It’s not that I haven’t tried it. I have. I just don’t like it. First of all, I don’t like to get my hands sticky or dirty. Next, I can’t sit and be quiet. I like to talk too much. Finally, I don’t have the desire to purchase the equipment to do it. So I have difficulty relating to becoming a “fisher of men.”
I. VS. 18 – Peter and Andrew were just minding their own business. They were making a living at fishing and this guy, Jesus comes along. I have to admit, if it were me and I had to earn my living fishing, I would have dropped the net immediately and done anything else.
A. Others would not be so quick to follow. They might say something like, “Who are you? What aright do you have? What’s it going to cost me? What am I going to get out of it? What do I have to do?
B. VS. 19 – Jesus commanded, “COME!” and they did. Wouldn’t you love to have that kind of power over people? It sure would make my job easier. I could just stand out on the street and say, “Come!” and the church would be full.
C. Some people believe they have to be perfect or talented to follow Jesus. Jesus said, “I will make you become fishers of men.”-- I’ll show you how. I’ll teach you. Just rely on me.”
II. As followers of Christ Jesus we know we are also called to fish for people; but, we think the problem is with the fish and us.
A. We don’t want to fish. Fish stink. They don’t think like us. They don’t act like us. They hide. You have to know where to find them. All the fish I know have already been caught.
B. Some time ago, there was a huge problem with wolves in Wyoming. It got so bad the state offered $5,000 for each wolf captured alive. Sam and Jed thought this might be an easy way to get rich quick. One night they were absolutely exhausted and fell asleep by their campfire. Suddenly, Sam awoke and say 50 wolves staring at him. He nudged his friend and said, “Jed, wake up, we’re rich!” (“What Happens When Fishermen Don’t Fish? By Steve Greene, SermonCentral.com)
C. I read recently of a man who became a psychic counselor by answering an ad in the newspaper. He was paid $12 per hour to keep people on the phone for as long as possible because the call costs the caller $5 per minute. In his training he was told “Remember, they’re just looking for something to hand on to, some little bit of hope, thinking that if you give that to them, they can turn their lives around. --- You may assume that people who don’t go to church aren’t interested; but the fact is people are seeking spirituality today. They are hungry for it. When people turn to psychics, believe in the healing power of crystals, practice pagan religions or turn to witch craft, they are searching for hope, meaning to life, something to believe in, hope that there is something out there bigger than us that holds the answers to this crazy world in which we live. (Tammy Garrison, “Fads In Religion,” SermonCentral.com)
III. The plan and simple fact is that most Christians and most churches are concerned with fishing anymore.
A. (Steve Greene, “What Happens When Fishermen Don’t Fish?” SermonCentral.com) “It came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were hungry. Week after week, month after month, and year after year, those who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing. Year after year they carefully defined what fishing means, defended fishing as an occupation, and declared that fishing is always to be the primary task of fishermen. Continually, they searched for new and better methods of fishing and for new and better definitions of fishing. They loved slogans such as “Fishing is the task of every fisherman.” They sponsored special meetings called Fishermen’s Campaigns” and “The Month for Fishermen to Fish.” They sponsored costly nationwide and world-wide congresses to discus fishing and to promote fishing and to hear about all the ways of fishing, such as the new fishing equipment, fish lures and whether any new bait had been discovered. These fishermen built large, beautiful buildings called “Fishing Headquarters.” The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish. One thing they didn’t do, however. The didn’t fish.