18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20At once they left their nets and followed him.
21Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4:18-22
One of the things that I love about Bible study and using Hermeneutics to dig deep into a passage, is that when you get the background and just imerse yourself in the text you find yourself “inside the story”. You know what I am talking about. I hear that this is what happens when people watch the television show “Lost”. Okay fine, yes I watched the first four seasons and I am admiting that this happened to me, which is why I stopped watching it. The crazy thing is that while reading the above passage I was able to put myself there with them. Can you imagine what was going through thier head? I guess all we can do is imagine what was going thorugh their mind. Try it, go back and look back in your Bible at this passage, and read it over and over. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Well, what do you think. Have you ever been in a situation like that before? You know, your just minding your own business, doing your normal routine, and out of nowhere a friend of family member, maybe a boss comes up to you and says “follow me.” Think back to what was going through your mind at that point. Got it? Now take it up a notch. Imagine that you are sitting at your job; your career; the one thing that you have done all your life. Not only you, but your father, and his father have done this job for all their lives. Your family relies on your taking over the business, and this is the only thing you know. Have you imagined it yet? Crazy right?
I know that we have all heard sermons on this passage, and how much faith these guys had. I am not going to give that one today. I just can’t get out of my head the feeling that those guys had to have. I know because I was once in that situation, and if you are a Christian then you too have had that situation. It may have been so long ago that you don’t remember, or maybe you just didn’t realize it at the time. Remember when Jesus called you to follow Him? Can you think back to that day, and remember what you were feeling? What were you thinking? There I was; there you were dropping all that you had in your hand at the time to follow Jesus. Why? We all have our testemonies, and they are all different, and all beautiful, yet there is an element in all of them that is the same. We need Him. We know that even from a distance, He has what we need, and what we long for. Jesus is our way out of what we are currently in. Jesus is our fullfilment, and the filler to that God sized hole we all have in our lives. Yet when He called us, and we got up we had to have been all thinking the same thing. I know I was.
Imagine the two brothers walking down the beach at the sea of Galilee following this traveling teacher, knowing that He is who we need to follow. Wondering, what are we doing? As we walk behind Him we think to ourselves; “what is He calling us to do?” I can’t help but think of the fear they had. Leaving all they ever knew behind and not looking back, not really knowing what to expect, just knowing it is better than what they were doing before. There is a freedom, yet at the same time a fear of not knowing what you are going to be doing. The call they had then, is the same call that we have now. They knew that they were going to be “fishers of men”, but they had to be wondering what that meant. We too know that we are called to a different life, but often times we go through this new life not knowing what to do with it. We hear Jesus say that He is going to make us fishers of men, but a lot of us were never even fishers of…fish.
The call from Jesus is a call of Discipleship. He calls us to follow Him and learn all that He has to teach. He called them back then to be His disciples, and we too are to follow into the same life. We are not called to walk to the shore, hear some teaching, watch Him walk down the beach and go back to our nets. No, He calls us to follow Him, to learn from Him, and into a relationship with Him. Being a disciple is not conditional, it is unconditional. We are called not only to live with Him, but to die with Him as well! How can we live a new without dieing to old? Jesus tells us that we are to take up our cross with Him, and follow Him. I ask you, where did He take His cross? That doesn’t mean wearing a necklace around your neck and a fish sticker on the back of your car. It means to go out and fish for men. It means we are to teach the people what He has taught us, and have them follow Him too.
We have all asked the question, and there are many more in the Church asking the same one; “Now what?” The answer is simple. Learn to fish!
As leaders, and fishermen we need to notice those people who are sitting with thier face burried in their laps, starving and scared and wondering what to do next. We need to grab them by the hand and teach them what we were taught. Jesus called us all to discipleship, and He also called us to a life as fishermen.