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By Rev. Dave Hall
The Gospel of Luke 5: 4–11 tells about Jesus’ first encounter with a commercial fisherman by the name of Peter. In this story Jesus tells Peter to take his boat out into the water. When Peter does this there are so many fish that He has to call for his friends to help him get them back to shore. Then Jesus tells Peter, his brother Andrew, and his friends James and John, to come follow him and become fishers of men.
Do you realize Jesus tells us the same thing? That’s right; you and I are to be fishers of men too. Here we are 2000 years later and Jesus says to us “Don’t be afraid, follow me and be a fisher of men.” There are three main reasons we should be fishers of men.
The first reason is because Jesus says so. When the son of God invites you to go fishing, you don’t want to turn him down. If Dale Earnhardt Jr. asked me to go work on his pit crew, I would go. If Michael Jordan asked me to shoot a few hoops with him, I’d go shoot some hoops with him. If Bret Favre asked me throw the football around, I would. If Tony Larusa asked me to sit in the dug-out with him, I would. So it only makes sense if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God in the flesh, asks you to go fishing with Him you should. When Jesus asks you to be part of His team, don’t turn Him down.
The second reason we become fishers of men, is for our own experiences. Peter experienced a life changing event in that encounter with Jesus. He didn’t want to go at first, but when he trusted Jesus it changed his life. Peter would go on to experience many more life changing events with Jesus, but he wouldn’t have had any of those life changing experiences if he hadn’t first trusted Jesus right then and there. When we trust Jesus, we too will have life changing experiences with Him, but first we have to have that initial experience with him, where we trust Him and give Him control.
The third reason for becoming a fisher of men is the fact that other people need us to fish for them. Every day people die without accepting Jesus Christ as their savior. Don’t think of them as fish, think of them as people drowning in a sea of sin. If we don’t throw them the lifeline (Jesus Christ is the lifeline) they are going to die and go to hell. No we can’t save them, but we can tell them about Jesus and He can save them. However Jesus has given us the responsibility of getting the lifeline to them.
Most of the fishermen I know get something, some kind of reward out of their fishing. And we’ll have rewards when we obey God and become fishers of men. The first reward of being a fisher of men is that we make our heavenly father happy. I want nothing more than when I die and get to heaven for God to say “well done, good and faithful servant” I want to live my life here on earth so that He’ll say, “Good job, Dave you’ve done exactly what I asked of you, I am very pleased with your obedience.”
The second reward is Treasure in Heaven. Matthew 6:19–20 says “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Perhaps the people that we tell about Jesus will be our treasure in heaven.
The third reward is joy or peace beyond understanding. Even before we get to heaven we can live a life of joy by knowing that God is pleased with us. He will give us a “peace that passes understanding.” He doesn’t just wait until we get to Heaven to reward us. He keeps encouraging us and rewarding us now while we still live on this earth.
Now you need to ask yourself … are you willing to do it, will you be a fisher of men? Will you follow Christ? Will you give him control and let him be the captain of your boat? Believe me the rewards are worth it. Now is the time to make that decision.