And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19
Have you ever realised the call of God usually comes when we are so busy doing something? Elisha was busy at the farm tilling the land, Peter and Andrew were fishing, Moses was looking after Jethro’s flock, Mary was preparing to get married and start her family. These are a few examples of heroes of scripture who were busy when they heard the voice of God. There is no single one background that fits all when it comes to God’s call over our life. It does not matter how and where He found us; God can call anybody. The 12 disciples were very integral in the ministry of Jesus; had we been the ones to choose, we would go with the best-qualified merit wise. However, Jesus held no interviews but chose people from diverse backgrounds.
Jesus is chiefly interested in how much time we spend with Him. This is the first step of being used in the kingdom of God. “He appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach” Mark 3:14. These 12 men followed him everywhere; they ate together, cried together and were persecuted together. They all had the first-hand experience of the life their master was all about even before going out to preach in His name.
We can also walk with the Lord today because following the Lord means being where He is (John 12:26). We can commune with Jesus through prayer in the secret place and read the scriptures to know His commands. The whole process is not easy; it’s tiring and full of many sacrifices and persecutions.
Fishers of Men
The more time you spend with someone, the more their values and attributes rub off you. Spending time with Jesus in prayer and His word exposes us to what breaks His heart and excites Him. A true follower’s heart will break for what breaks the heart of Jesus. The common theme we find from Jesus is that He came for the sick, the broken hearted, those in prison and those oppressed (Luke 4:18). When he saw people lost and without a shepherd, he was moved by compassion when they needed healing of any ailment (Matthew 20:34).
Finally, we are called to be fishers of souls because He commands it (Mark 16:20). We are called to witness what we have seen or heard Him do. If we’re to experience the joy of “catching” people for Christ, we must go among them and sincerely befriend them. Don’t be a friend to witness but witness because you are a friend. Many believers received the Lord as a result of friendship evangelism. Fishing for souls is simply sharing Christ and not our ideologies or the information of our denomination. Let us not be afraid to share the goodness of God with our circles of influence.
King James Version (KJV)
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
New International Version (NIV)
“‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.'”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.'”
New American Bible (NASB)
“And He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of people.'”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.'”
The Living Bible (TLB)
“Jesus called out, ‘Come along with me and I will show you how to fish for the souls of men!'”