John 12:26 “Whoever serves me must follow me. Then my servant will be with me everywhere I am. My Father will honor anyone who serves me.”
My hubby loves fishing and on occasion I have joined him on the sidelines watching. I'm more of a people watcher and it's been interesting what I have observed. It seems that standing around trying to catch fish opens the door universally for others to start talking to you. As they pass by you hear the ‘catch anything' to ‘are they biting today’ to other simple questions. You don't know the person and they might not be that into fishing, yet a simple acknowledgement is given. Then on occasion there will be an avid fellow fisherman who will stay around long enough for a simple chat about fish, fishing, and the fish that day. Oh, there are a few who just keep walking by without a word but nine times out of ten the person passing says something.
This last time I was out with my husband watching this occur it got me thinking about the Bible and fishermen. It's interesting that Jesus first called two fishermen, Peter and Andrew to follow Him as His disciples. Jesus could have walked up to the tax table where Matthew was, or found Luke on his rounds helping people. Yet He approached the fisherman first. Perhaps it's because most fishermen are approachable and catching fish is universal common ground to talk about. In fact, in Luke 5 we read that Jesus does approach them about fish. After talking with the crowds, He instructs Simon Peter to cast his net in the water and the men soon had a boat full of fish. Once at shore Jesus called the men to follow Him and become fishers of men, which they accepted, following Jesus. Shortly after, we find Jesus again with a couple fisherman, James and John. Jesus begins a conversation with them and invites them to join Him as disciples and fishers of men. In that moment those four men decided to leave everything behind and follow Jesus and set out to win souls for God's Kingdom. And the rest is history. Those men walked with Jesus, learned from Jesus and had a great impact on mankind helping further the will of God.
We may not all enjoy fishing (this includes me) but there is a greater lesson we can learn from this. It's called common ground. I don't know how much Jesus liked fishing or if He even fished but He saw something in those men and met them where they were. Talked in a way they could relate to. Like the people who simply passed by my hubby and asked, ‘catch anything’? They might not really care about fishing, but they can relate to it. This in turn always opens a door for my hubby, who is a social person, to talk. It might not lead into anything deep, but the door is opened.
To truly be fishers of men we need to meet people on common ground. We need to be willing to talk about relatable things allowing the door to open before we can really talk about deep things the Bible has to offer about Jesus. Ultimately, to be fishers of men, we have to be willing to follow Jesus. No, Jesus probably won't ask you to give up everything in your life but there will be things we will need to walk away from to be committed to serving Jesus.
Now, what does it mean that Jesus will make you fishers of men? Well, to be fisherman you need the right equipment. At least one fishing pole, some bait or a hook, maybe a net, right? When we follow Jesus, He will equip us with what we need to help us further God's message to others. To begin with we need to put on the Armor of God, Ephesians 6:10-18. Next, comes the relatable part. Understanding those who we talk to, and allowing God to use us as His voice, this comes through prayer of guidance, wisdom and allowing God to show us the way. Lastly, we need our net for catching, which is the gospel of God. But to use the net we need the power of God who will shine His light through us to the darkest world around us.
Once equipped with Jesus we must go and do what He has commissioned us to do in Matthew 28:19-20 and make disciples. Meet people on common ground be fisherman, golfers, scrapbookers, moms, and so much more. Show interest and then let the Lord lead you in the next steps. Find a universal topic you can agree on and let the Lord speak through you. Be fishers of men every day you step out into the world. God is in the business of saving and longs for the world to be saved. Help in any way you can.
I hope you have found some time to dig deeper in the Bible with me as we have been reading through Ephesians. There is so much we can learn when we read through the pages of the Bible and each chapter is not too long that we can't take a few more minutes to see what more Jesus has for us each day. If you have been following our study we will be reading Ephesians chapter 5. There is a link you can follow for the lesson.
For those joining you will see the lesson covers six days of questions, so if you can't get to them all today simply print them up and work on them until the next lesson or at your own pace. I have started these studies so we all can find an opportunity to dig deeper each day in the Bible other than just reading a verse a day and calling it good. It also gives me and hopefully those who have joined me a chance to discover new insights throughout the Bible I may not have seen before. The point is, just taken a few more minutes in each day to allow God to teach and reach me in new ways. Hope you have been inspired also as we continue our studies.
Ephesians Chapter 5- https://www.docdroid.net/JSfm1ge/ephesians-chapter-5-docx
Next blog I will have the links to all the chapters again but if you'd like to see them now you can click on the past few blogs under the inspirational blogs and they are at the bottom. Happy reading!
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