FISHERS OF MEN
(Mat 4:19) Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
One day Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee and saw Peter and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea, as they were fishermen. Jesus walked right up to them and said they were to follow Him and that in so doing they would now be occupied with fishing for men’s souls. But is it a call just for two brothers who became disciples? By no means, it’s for all followers of Christ of all times.
The question from the beginning is whether a follower of Christ should be silent and let God do the converting or if a believer should actively share their faith. Upon conversion it is quite natural to experience a spiritual high and to tell friends and family you are now following Jesus (Mark 5:18-20; Acts 10:24). After that there might be a cooling off period where you decide to just live the faith more than proclaim it. But that is like asking which wing of an airplane is the most important, the right or the left? The gospel needs to be given out so people can hear the good news of Jesus and then place their faith in Him (Rom 1:16; Rom 10:14-15, 17).
Those of us who believe we should actively share our faith are termed evangelicals by others. That’s not such a bad term because to be an evangelist (euaggelizo) means to bring good news to someone. The word preach (kerusso) means to publish or proclaim openly, like the heralds that used to go around the city and shout out the current news. And the word proclaim (kataggello) means to announce publically. Isn’t that what we are doing when share how Jesus died for sinners and that they can be saved if they place their trust in His work on the cross for their sins?
The next time you go to church take a good look at those empty chairs. Each chair represents a person. You might ask why don’t more people come to church and fill up those seats? Or you may be so spiritual and say that God will bring people when it’s their time. But the Bible says that now is the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2). There is an urgency about the gospel that calls all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). And we are all placed under the imperative of the Great Commission to reach the whole world for Him (Mat 28:18-20). The world is won, one by one. And that one is the one God places right in front of you.
What about that person you work with? Have you told them the message of Jesus? Have you led your children to Christ? Have you prayed the prayer with them to receive the Lord? Does that person you always talk with know Christ as their Savior? Have you switched over from small talk to tall talk? If they died tonight where would their soul be for all eternity? We talk about the weather, politics, sports, the economy, and a myriad of other things but have people heard the greatest news of all through you? Let’s ask the Lord to give us a burden for lost souls and for fresh opportunities to share God’s love and the boldness to be fishers of men!