In Matthew 4:18-22, Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when He called four fishermen to be His first disciples. “Come, follow me,” He told them. “And I will make you fishers of men.”
Jesus could have called anybody He wanted to be His first four disciples. I think He called fishermen for two reasons. First, fishermen don’t get discouraged when they don’t catch anything. I love to fish, but if I go fishing and don’t catch anything, I’m not going to leave my bass boat sitting in the lake and say, “I quit.” I think Jesus may have called fishermen because He knew they wouldn’t quit.
And second, fishermen are not afraid to fish in new waters. We have new waters all around us. We have brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers who may not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, and yet we focus on others and wait for someone else to reach our family. Jesus said that He would make us fishers of men, but if we don’t put our hooks in the water, we’re not going to catch anything. In the Church today, we’re not putting our lines in the water.
Jesus was on the move in Matthew 4. He was walking by the Sea of Galilee, and He was looking for disciples; they were not running to Him. Lost people are not going to come running to you. You have to go looking for them. We’re living in a world where somebody dies every two seconds; 150,000 people die every day. Where will these people spend eternity? Who will tell them about Jesus if we don’t?
Jesus does not accept our excuses about being too busy. My wife and I have five boys, and we have learned to use whatever opportunities we have to share our faith. Once, we used our date night. We went door to door, and as we saw people working in their yards, we walked up to them and asked, “Can we have two minutes of your time?” I told them we were doing a brief survey, and then I asked them these questions:
- Do you enjoy living in this community? Do you feel safe?
- How did Sept. 11 change your life?
- When the nearly 3,000 people who perished on Sept. 11 took their last breath, what do you think happened to them? Most people answered that those who perished either went to heaven or to hell.
- What do you have to do to enter heaven? Their answer gave us an indication of what they believe. Almost everyone said that you have to be a Christian to go to heaven.
- What is a Christian? We explained that going to church doesn’t make a person a Christian; that being a Christian means having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; and that in order to have this relationship you must ask Him to forgive your sins and come and live inside your heart.
Let us cast our nets for the souls of men. We will be alive in our next life a lot longer than we will be in this life. One of the most important things we can do in this life is to share our faith in Jesus Christ–and to follow Him as a fisher of men.