How to Become Fishers of Men
Jesus said, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” So how can you become a fisher of men?
“And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’”
When Jesus challenged His first disciples, Simon Peter and Andrew, He told them right away what their new job was going to be: “Fishers of men.” They responded by immediately laying aside their fishing nets, walking away from their livelihood, and following the Lord.
Today, Jesus is saying those same words to you and me: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” So how can you become a fisher of men?
1. Go where the fish are
Fishing would be easy if we could put a basket by the water and have the fish jump into them! But that’s not how it works. You must wade out into the water, or get into a boat and go farther from shore. If you are a fisherman, you live by the sea and spend your time there.
Are you going to where the “fish” are? If you only spend time with other Christians, you’ll have little chance to interact with non-believers. Intentionally choose activities or hobbies that put you in contact with people in your neighborhood or community. Grow friendships and relationships with a wider circle of people, and you’ll have more chances to go “fishing.”
2. Cast your nets
It wasn’t enough for Peter and Andrew to take their boat out to the middle of the lake. To catch fish, they had to throw their nets into the water.
For us, “casting our nets” means getting the message out. There are many ways to share the gospel. We can tell people verbally; we can give out gospel handouts; we can share with friends or even strangers via e-mail or the Internet.
Along with this, we must live our lives in a way that shows the truth we speak. Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Our good works are not the gospel, but when, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we love and care for others, it shows that the gospel has the power to change lives; and others will want what we have.
3. Obey the Lord
In John 21, after His resurrection, Jesus came to some of the disciples, who had fished unsuccessfully all night. He told them to throw their nets on the other side of the boat – an act that seemed to make no sense, but which brought a great catch.
As you walk closely with God, you may sense His Spirit telling you to talk to someone about Him. Or He may lead you to give away something valuable, or to love someone – in other words, to do something unusual, which God may use to bring someone to come to know Him.
4. Walk with Jesus
During the three years of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the disciples did everything with Him – they walked, talked and ate with Him. They not only listened to His words, but they observed and imitated the Living Word. This (and the Holy Spirit) prepared them to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Jesus told us in John 15:4, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” The word “abide” means to be connected.
Though we don’t have Jesus in the flesh, He tells us in John 16:7 “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” Through the presence of the Holy Spirit, WE can walk with Jesus every day!
(Be sure to read our articles about the Holy Spirit if you need to be reminded about this all-important ingredient of your Christian life.)
So, as Jesus calls, are you willing to do what the disciples did, and make fishing for men your highest priority and your true calling? As you consider and act on these principles, the Lord Jesus can make you into a true “fisher of men” for His glory.
Pray this week:
Lord Jesus, what am I missing? Where should my net be cast so that I can help someone know you?
Have you been able to reach someone else for Jesus? We’re always encouraged to hear others’ stories! Please share yours with a caring Christian today.