Sunday, May 28, 2006

Fishers of Men-part 2

18 ¶ And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. Matthew 4:18-22

If we impose our modern-day presuppositions about fishing onto this passage we walk away with an interpretation that is foreign to the meaning Jesus intended. The men Jesus called to be His disciples in this passage were fishermen. Their method of catching fish did not involve rod and reel, though that method certainly did exist in that time and is even mentioned in the Bible (Matthew 17:27). However, the method was to cast a net. So, to begin with, we need to at least form our modern day church strategies around casting a net into an open sea, instead of baiting a hook at the local fishing hole.

But even this does not seem to be the truest meaning of the passage. And in this case, it only involves a little study and meditaiton about three things.
1- Follow Me
2- I will make
3- They immedieatly left

“Follow me” means much more than “Get behind me and go where I go”. When a rabbi told someone to ‘follow me’, that was an imperitave command to “become who I am”. Not just observe, but learn and BE. In our culture today, we tend to skip over the full meaning of ‘follow me’ and go to fishing for men. We think that because we are born-again christians and have some form of discipline, we are following Him. This is especially true of those who have “given up everything to follow the call into full-time ministry”. I know, I walked there…and it can be a very deceitful path. You really think you are following as Jesus intended, but you are really following self for the most part. And it is virtually impossible to be convinced otherwise.

“I will make” is what Jesus will do. We don’t become fisherman. Jesus makes us fisherman. It is not our prerogative, it is His. We should not need to read books to become relevant so that we make ourselves fishermen; we abandon our own methods and allow Jesus to make us.

“They immediately left” three things in this passage. What do you think that these three things meant to the disciples at that time, what do they mean to the church of today, and what do they mean to you personally?

The left their Nets.(In the first case, they left the net they were casting. In the next, they left the net that they were mending.)
They left their Boat.
They left their Father.

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