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Pastoral 2012

Follow Jesus And Be A Fisher Of Men


Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19) were the words of Jesus to Andrew and Simon. These words of Jesus are full of promise and motivation. None who reads them should fail to observe the prospects they offer. These words of Jesus are gracious, potent and transforming! They are for our joyful contemplation and obedience.

The call of Christ: “Follow Me”

A gracious invitation
Firstly, we notice that herein is a warm invitation from our gracious Lord. He gently beckons us, “Follow Me.” He is sure of the way, for He Himself is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). What a great honour it is for us to receive an invitation from the Son of God to follow Him all the way to His glorious heavenly abode!

An absolute demand
Secondly, He requires us to accept His leading. He is Lord of lords and King of kings. He demands total commitment from us. We cannot be halfhearted followers if we were to be partakers of the blessings unto which He is leading us. We must give Him our absolute allegiance. He makes no other demands here except that we faithfully follow Him. We cannot have two masters. We have to give up all other glittering things that would try to distract us from the Lord Jesus. He is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

A blessed assurance
Thirdly, the words “Follow Me” are very assuring to us because they bespeak Christ as our unfailing leader. He is ready to lead us all the way. He does not give us any notion that at some point in our lives, He would desert us. Rather, He gives us full assurance that He will be always right before us to lead us safely into the presence of His Father. He alone will lead us. He will always be the Captain of our lives to take us safely home.

What a glorious call Jesus extended to those fishermen of Galilee! The Son of God had not passed them by for the wealthy and mighty of the land. He took great pleasure in those people who were at the lower strata of society; and offered them what they could not have otherwise inherited.

The promise of Christ: “I will make you fishers of men”

Jesus can lead any who would accept His call to glorious accomplishments. Anyone who would follow Jesus upon receiving His call will then be transformed by His divine touch. These men were not accustomed to preaching or teaching. They were not in the business of convincing men. They were only familiar with mending and casting nets. But then the Lord Jesus promised them that He would transform them to be fishers of men so that they could be His servants to lead many others to His redeeming power.

A divine undertaking
It is not “Follow me, because you may make something of yourselves” but “Follow me, because of what I will make you”. It did not seem likely that lowly fishermen would become apostles. How could men of the sea become men of the Word? How could men who are only accustomed to boats, nets and fishes be at home in preaching sermons? How could these peasants convict the religious scholars of their sins so that they might repent? Is it possible that fishermen of Galilee would found churches across the world? How could these things be?

Nothing is impossible with the Son of God. Just as He promised, He used those fishermen of Galilee to conquer the souls of the rich and poor, the kings and peasants, the scholars and barbarians, from around the world. From biblical and world history, we know that what He had promised, He would accomplish.

A personal promise
Jesus’ words were taken as a personal promise by Andrew, Simon, John and James. They heard the words Jesus uttered – “I will make you fishers of men.” They took it to their hearts as a personal promise and responded by leaving their boats and nets.

Dear reader, are you brought low by a sense of your own unworthiness? Do you feel that you can never be useful to lead men to Christ? You need to know that if you answer the call of Jesus and follow Him to do His will, then you will be moulded by His wisdom and power to fulfil His calling.

Please note also that when His call comes to you, you may not be all that you ought to be. When the Lord saves by His gracious call, He has undertaken your sanctification, edification and even your usefulness. His word is “Follow me, not merely that you may be saved, or even that you may be sanctified” but “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”. If you feel that you are not yet ready to be a fisher of men, then ask Him for His grace to go a-fishing, and so cast your Gospel net that you may take a great multitude of souls out of the sea of sin.

You, my reader, live in the midst of millions, but if you will follow Jesus and be faithful and true to Him, and do what He bids you, He will make you fishers of men. Do not say, “Who shall save this city?” The weakest shall be strong enough. Little boy David’s stone brought Goliath, the mighty Philistine, down. Gideon’s barley cake smote the tent. Samson, with the jawbone taken up from the dust of the earth, smote the Philistines. Fear not, neither be dismayed. Let your concerns about your duty of witnessing drive you closer to your Master. Let the horror of besetting sin make you look unto His dear face. Cling onto the Lord, and never let go of your hold. Follow Him everywhere, at all times. By the strong and mighty impulses of the divine Spirit within you, He will lead you to maturity. If you are not fit for this great employment, He will make you fit. You cannot do it by yourself but He will enable you. You do not know how to spread nets and draw shoals of fish to shore but He will teach you. Only follow Him, and He will make you fishers of men.


Pastoral Exhortation