Going on a Life-Long Fishing Trip

I had the recent joy of being out on a lake and fishing. The weather was beautiful and calm. Okay, the mosquitos were buzzing and infiltrating, but the hats and repellent were staving them off a bit. At one point, my friend tells me to cast my line on the other side of the boat closer to the weeds. Now, I know what you’re thinking. I launched on to a whopper. Well it didn’t happen. But “we”, that is he, got three nice fish. The beauty of the lake, the fellowship, encouraging one another in the Lord, working together on hacking up a fillet (thankfully with helpful tips from my partner), was all worth it. We got back in time for a nice rain shower to come and a good cup of coffee.

Think about when Jesus called His first disciples. They were in a boat fishing. This was their way of living and how they supported themselves. So the account goes: “Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’ And immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” Mark 1:16-18 ESV

Jesus’ call sounds a little odd here in English. “I will make you become fishers of men.” We learn a few things from this. First, it is Jesus’ work that He is going to do through them and it is also a process.” Their response is immediate. The calling is clear. It is about the people He is calling them to, not fish. Jesus spends the next three years teaching His disciples how to disciple others and bring them into His Kingdom. His calling wasn’t only about the three years’ time He spent with them, however. It was about the rest of their lives.

Jesus’ calling is still our calling. When we read the Gospel accounts, what Jesus says is inspired and also, the way He lived and taught His disciples is inspired. Jesus shows them that a new Kingdom has come and it is very different from this world. They need to learn from Him how to live and walk like Him. This is the process. Jesus then turns it over to them with the promise of the Holy Spirit and tells them to “make disciples of all nations.”

The whole purpose that Jesus called His disciples was to make fishers of people. Is this our goal? Are we on the journey? Are we looking outside ourselves with our eyes wide open to the world around us—lost, hopeless, and hurting? So many are filling their lives up and looking for ways to fill a void, to find happiness, only to find a dead end. Jesus is the fulfillment of all things and makes our lives complete. He gives us something, even if it is difficult in this life, to use for the advancement of His Kingdom and His glory.

To fish for people means sharing your life and Jesus with a neighbor, family member, co-worker, someone that has a common interest. It means talking to people that perhaps we haven’t talked to before. It means inviting them into our lives. It means giving of ourselves because we have been given the greatest gift of all. If you don’t feel equipped to do this, that is what the church is about. Get involved in a Life Group or a Discipleship group. Our leaders will equip you for this. If you are a Christian, you are a disciple. You don’t have to wait. It’s all about going fishing one way or another.
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Mark Anderson