To Follow Means to Fish

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You were created to make a difference with your life! From Day One, Jesus made His agenda clear for those who choose to follow Him:

To follow means to fish.

When Jesus invited Peter, Andrew, James and John to follow Him, He made His AGENDA crystal clear right up front…  Jesus looked at these four very young guys and said, “I want you to follow me and I will…MAKE YOU… I’ll SHOW YOU…”  At this point, their imaginations ran wild…

Maybe they were expecting Jesus to say something like, “Follow me and I will make you…what? I’ll make you…more disciplined…”  After all, that’s what I would like Jesus to make me.

Or maybe, “Follow me and I will make you more spiritual…”  After all, Jesus was a spiritual leader. Or maybe Jesus would say, “Follow me and I will make you more intelligent.”  After all, He’s divine! He knows it all! He’s omniscient! He can do that kind of thing! 

Or maybe Jesus would say, “Follow me and I will make you a better husband, a better dad…”

It’s interesting that Jesus blows away every preconceived notion about what following Him really means when He looked at this group of four young guys and said, “Follow me and I will make you FISHERS of men. I’ll SHOW YOU how to FISH for PEOPLE.” 

Jesus looked at those four men -- and He looks at us -- and basically said, “If you really follow Me, I am going to make you into something else. I’ll make you fishers of men.”

Check out Mark 1:16... 

One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living.

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This is what these guys did for a living. Peter and Andrew were heirs to a family fishing business. Fishing was their life. The majority of their time was spent thinking about where to catch fish, how to catch fish, how to market fish, and how to mend their nets.  Then all of a sudden, Jesus interrupted their ordinary life with an unusual and incredible invitation.

Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” (Mark 1:17 NLT)

The first three words are crucial, “COME, FOLLOW ME…”

I love the way The Message paraphrases it:

“Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” (Mark 1:17 MSG)

Jesus basically looked at these two men and said, “Pete…  Andy… I know your whole life has revolved around fishing. Up until this moment, I know that fishing has preoccupied your life. I don’t blame you. What else is there, anyway? BUT, If you follow me…  If you trust me…  If you understand who I am and what I’m up to…  If you understand how much men and women MATTER to me…  If you understand all of that, you will follow me and I will make a new kind of fishermen out of you.”

Jesus’ call was irresistible!  I love the next line…

And they left their nets AT ONCE and followed him. (Mark 1:18 NLT)

The Message reads, “They didn’t ask questions. They dropped their nets and followed.”

At first glance, their actions almost seem irresponsible. I mean, they’re in business with their dad.  He probably has the idea, “One day I’m going to retire and my boys are going to take over the business.”   Now, after meeting Jesus, these two boys look at their Dad and say, “Uh…  Dad…  We’re following the rabbi…  We’ve only known Him for like five minutes…  but we’ve got to go…”

A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. (Mark 1:19 NLT)

Why?  Because they were fishermen.  In fact, they were probably partners with Peter and Andrew. (Cf Luke 5)

Right off, he made the same offer. Immediately, they left their father Zebedee, the boat, and the hired hands, and followed. (Mark 1:20 MSG)

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This is amazing!  It’s radical!  These four guys probably didn’t fully understand what Jesus meant when he said, “Follow me and I will make a new kind of fisherman out of you…”  But they followed anyway and by the end of the Gospels and the beginning of the book of Acts, that’s exactly what these guys had become.  They had become “FISHERS OF MEN.” 

Their lives no longer revolved around catching fish, cleaning fish and bringing fish to market. Their lives revolved around CAPTURING the HEARTS of men and women and bringing them to JESUS!

Jesus didn’t call these guys away from their CAREER because there’s something wrong with the FISHING business. It was an honorable business.

In the same vane, there’s nothing wrong with the automobile business, construction business, investment business, insurance business, sales business, health care business or the clerical business.

But Jesus made it clear from Day One, “In the ultimate sense, all of my followers have to know and understand what it means to be in the “PEOPLE BUSINESS.” 

Regardless of what industry you’re in, you’re not in the construction business, you’re in the people business!

You’re not in the electrical, HVAC business, plumbing, roofing, accounting, bottling, manufacturing, sales or medical business. If you follow Jesus, you are in the people business!

People matter to the heart of God and they’ve got to matter to you and me! In fact, you’ve never locked eyes with a person that doesn’t matter to God!

Regardless of what “business” you’re in, if you follow Jesus, you’re in the PEOPLE BUSINESS and TO FOLLOW JESUS MEANS TO FISH