JESUS KNEW AND UNDERSTOOD THE HEART OF GOD
Jesus had crystal clear clarity on His personal mission. In Luke 19:10 He described it:
…the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.
In other words, Jesus said, “I’m on a mission. I’m conducting an all-out ‘search and rescue operation’ that includes every person on this planet who doesn’t know that God loves them and that God has a plan for their life.”
And every time Jesus sensed that one of His followers was putting a higher priority on something other than fishing for men, Jesus would step in, pull them back into line and say, “You obviously don’t know My Father very well. If you knew him better, you would understand His agenda.”
JESUS UNDERSTOOD THE REALITY OF HEAVEN AND HELL
Jesus understood the fact that the stakes are sky high. That’s why He was relentless in His ministry and mission. He couldn’t stand the thought of one person stepping into eternity unprepared to meet God.
JESUS UNDERSTOOD THE POTENTIAL IN PEOPLE
Jesus had a kind of “supernatural insight” into people. He had the uncanny ability to look past the obvious limits and flaws in a person’s life and envision who and what they could become if the power of God was released in their lives.
Jesus saw a hidden philanthropist hiding out in the skin of Zaccheus, a crooked tax collector / business guy.
Jesus saw a worshipping woman at the foot of the cross currently dressed up as a prostitute.
Jesus saw the Apostle Peter, the founder of the first century church hiding out in the skin of a “fisherman” / liar and coward named Simon?
Jesus just looked at people DIFFERENTLY!
He never got bogged down by all the muck and mire of the current SINFUL REALITY in people’s lives. He could look past all of that and see the REDEMPTIVE POTENTIAL inside.
Jesus transformed a group of completely ORDINARY men and women! He made “…a new kind of fishermen out of them.”
He started with a group of guys who were OUTSIDERS as far as the religious establishment was concerned. He started with a group of guys who were all too prone to mistakes, mis-statements, wrong attitudes, lapses of faith and colossal failures and BET HIS ENTIRE REDEMPTIVE PLAN on their owning the fact that TO FOLLOW MEANS TO FISH.
Jesus took a group of at least four, possibly as many as seven, fishermen…
He took one political Zealot who was determined to overthrow Rome…
He took another guy from the opposite end of the political spectrum, a guy who was a tax collector and had basically sold out his own people just to earn a buck…
He added a few miscellaneous tradesman or craftsmen and He transformed the entire group into FISHERS OF MEN.
All throughout the New Testament, He kept adding to the mix…
He took a WOMAN who had been married five times and transformed her into a fisher of men and women (John 4).
Jesus even took a GUY who had been POSSESSED by so many demons that they actually called themselves “LEGION” and He set the man free from a life of oppression, sent him back to “fish” in his hometown and neighborhood (Mark 5:1-13; Luke 8:26-39). The results were amazing!
All throughout the Gospels Jesus kept driving home His agenda that TO FOLLOW MEANS TO FISH.
On one occasion Jesus sent a group of seventy disciples out. They were supposed to serve as “Jesus’ Advance Team”. Just before He sent them out He reminded them of His priority and agenda.
Jesus said, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few… Pray to the Lord of the harvest and ask Him to send out more workers into His harvest fields…” (Luke 10:1-2)
He just kept repeating the same mantra: TO FOLLOW MEANS TO FISH.
The seventy went out and their effectiveness exceeded their expectations. They were blown away by the way people responded. They were blown away by the power of God that was available and active in ordinary people like themselves. They came back to Jesus rejoicing, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name…” (Luke 10:18)
Jesus smiled and basically said, “Guys, if you’re getting excited about the fact that demons have to obey to you, then you’re getting excited about the wrong thing. I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. [That’s not a big deal…] Don’t rejoice because the demons are subject to you, you rejoice because your names are registered as citizens in heaven. [That’s a big deal!]” (Lk 10:19-20)
Jesus wanted to make certain His disciples understood His TOP PRIORITY. It’s the fact that a person has changed DESTINATIONS! They’re no longer going to spend eternity separated from God. Their “names are registered in heaven.” That’s cause to throw a party!
Jesus wanted to make certain His followers understood: TO FOLLOW MEANS TO FISH.