Fishers of Men

Posted: January 26, 2013 by Dillon in Evangelism
Tags: , , , , , ,

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  Matthew 4:19

As Jesus was gathering His disciples, He came upon Peter and Andrew.  Peter and Andrew were fishermen by trade and spent their days invested in their occupation; it was all they knew. But when Jesus came along, they immediately dropped their nets and followed.  What could Jesus have possibly meant that would cause fishermen to throw down their nets and follow?

Fishing with a net Downloaded from : Photos an...

Fishing with a net  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peter and Andrew could sense the importance of what Jesus was saying, even if they couldn’t put their fingers on it. Being a fisher of men means being able to capture the hearts of men, using a metaphorical net.  In other words, discipleship.  It’s another one of those big fancy Christian words, but it’s an important one.  Having a disciple means having a spiritual brother (or sister) and pouring your life into them.  Jesus ministered and healed thousands, but He only really discipled 12 men.  Of those 12, Jesus focused on 3 to receive the most time with Him.

Discipleship isn’t just teaching, though.  Discipleship is sharing your life with someone; helping the disciple grow and learn in their faith, and in their life.  And in this process of sharing your life, you are able to grow as well.  Much as a classroom teacher would say, you find out how much you don’t know when you try to teach. Why is this so significant?

From past experiences, I can say that having a disciple relationship is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.  This relationship is where you can truly see fruits of the Spirit emerge and literally watch the sanctification process in front of your eyes.  But a discipleship relationship doesn’t start out of nothing.  First, the potential disciple has to have been “caught” by Christ.

Caught makes it sound like a bad thing, but this is where the metaphor needs some digging.  If you’ve ever had a pet, you’ve probably had the pet run away.  It’s not because you’re a horrible owner (at least, it’s usually not); the pet generally runs away because it doesn’t know any better.  It’s the same with men.  We run away because we don’t know any better.  When Peter and Andrew are taught to be “fishers of men,” they learn how to catch lost men and bring them back to Christ.

When a fisherman claims his catch, he has to gut the fish as well.  This is the discipleship process.  This process can be thought of as cleaning the disciple.  Once the disciple has been “cleaned,” he can learn to become a fisher on his own.  Fishing for men is a multiplicative process; if each fisher catches and cleans one man, the exponential growth will be amazing.

Fisher man

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