by David Brenneman
Mark 1:17 NASB "And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”"
Matthew 4:19 NASB "And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”"
You look at the 3 and a half year ministry of Jesus, you see Him gather His "fishermen" and take them to the "fish", wherever they were. Jesus knew the best places to fish for men and women. He knew exactly what bait to use.
Somewhere along the way the Church got the misguided idea that the only good fishing holes were in sports arenas and venues. That the only way to get through to people was through their love of football, baseball, basketball, soccer or golf or for some, NASCAR.
Had the first coming of Jesus been in today's world, I somehow have to believe that those would have been the last places you would find Him. He went to where the people really were. In those places the fish often came to Him.
Jesus sent the Apostles out into the fields. The world at large, in a controlled fashion. Some areas before others. Going to where the fish were, and where the fish would be biting.
The Bible says "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths." 2 Timothy 4:2-4 NASB.
Telling people what they want to hear is what politicians think they are doing. It isn't for Believers.
"All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB.
So there's what's to be used for bait as it were.
"Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16 NASB.
As a self-identified geek, I assure you that those like myself will be utterly turned off at the prospect of sports as a "draw" towards the things of God. I would hazard to guess that the number is probably in the millions of men and women who do not at all identify with sports or sporting events.
Jesus lead by example. He taught His Disciples to go to where the fish were biting. There's a really good chance that after the resurrection, when Jesus took the time to restore Peter, the whole eating of fish with them was a way to remind them.
Scripture says for us to go, make Disciples of all nations. Nowhere in that command is it pointing to arenas or special events. Not all fishing is done with nets.
Jesus said to follow Him...following His example. Seeing what He says is important and making those things important to us. Seeing how He approached people and do so in like manner.
Ask any successful fishermen or fisherwomen and every single one will tell you that to catch a fish requires certain things. Patience, the right place, the right time, the right bait. Some overemphasize location. But as my brother has the ability to catch fish practically anywhere there's water and fish, it's certainly more than just location. There is a necessary knowledge of what you are fishing for and where they are. Of knowing what what works and what doesn't.
In fishing for men and women we indeed have to go about it God's way not ours. If we go by our ideas on it, then it's walking by sight, not by faith. Think on that one for a moment.
We aren't here to be successful, to even be happy all the time. We aren't here seeking a retirement program that ensures a great end of our days on this Earth.
We are not here to sell things nor make companies money. Those are the possible side effects of living a life right before God. They aren't our purpose for being here in this now in history.
We are His workmanship. We are being molded into what He wants us to look, act, and behave like. We live in a world that wants us to be their workmanship. To conform to their ideas, their thoughts, their ways. We are here for a purpose. To be fishers of men and women. I used to work exceptionally hard at being successful at work. Honestly the company didn't care one way or another. My responsibilities are Colossians 3:24-24.
Are you at all looking beyond yourself? Are you looking at who you are really pointing people to?
Are you looking at people as Jesus did?
Are you at all looking for those people in the harvest that Jesus said to pray to the Father to go to?
Are you fishing with the right bait? Are you fishing where the fish are? Are you doing as Jesus did, meeting people at the point of their need?
This go round ar employment I am doing more at setting boundaries. I keep work and home life separated more. I indeed pray for work and the workers. In 30 plus years of working at various places mixing the two certainly has been poisonous.
Our light should so shine before people that they see God in us only. That's the only light that's right, pure, and true.
It's only a life in Christ Jesus that transforms people. Not Jesus AND anything else. There ia for those workers in the harvest crops to be tended to. It's those places that are our fishing holes.
Don't be surprised at the places that the fish are. The Disciples sometimes were with Jesus.
Some of the first lessons taught to the Disciples were of how to think outside the box. We aren't going to reach people if we keep going to the same boxes over and over.
You got the same command as all Believer's since He issued that command.
You are here to reach people for Christ Jesus if indeed you are saved.
"But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." 2 Timothy 4:5 NASB.
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