BECOMING FISHERS OF MEN

Intro: It was a very early morning. At that hour, only a few people were on the shore. The exhausted fishermen who had just completed yet another exhausting night of fishing on the Sea of Galilee were about the only people still alive that early in the morning. Two brothers stand in one boat as they cast their nets into the water and drag the fish back into the boat in the hope of catching a few more fish to sell. Two brothers from a different family sit in a nearby boat while they fix their nets and get ready for the next night of fishing in the hope that the catch will be better.
All of the men are eager to transport their catch to the market and then return home to rest. However, as they are wrapping up their morning activities, a man walks by along the shoreline. He yells for the men in the boats to come and follow Him. Four of the men in the boats leave their boats and nets behind when He does so to become His disciples. “Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men,” is his straightforward appeal to them. However, it was a call that forever altered their lives! Jesus transformed these Galilean fishermen into some of the greatest "fishers of men" the world has ever seen by taking these humble fishermen and transforming them into His own. I'm interested in this passage because I think Jesus wants to do the same thing in your and mine as He did in these men's lives. He wants to take us as we are, with all of our shortcomings, failures, and flaws, and transform us into fishermen for men. We can learn a few things about how this can happen from this passage. Let's examine these verses as we collectively consider the following idea: becoming men's fishermen. We must do the following if we are to become "Fishers of Men": I. WE HAVE TO FOLLOW THE RIGHT PERSON A. Pay attention to the men who left everything for us: Verse 18, 20, Jesus According to verse 18, "the world followed" refers to "to cleave to another, conforming to His example." To put it another way, these men gave up their boats, their lives, and their nets in order to follow Jesus and learn from Him! B. And it turns out they did! They saw Jesus go into places and interact with people the majority of moral, religious citizens would not have! Woman sick at the well in John 4; a Mark 1 demon, a leper; Luke 7, a sinning woman, Mark 5; an adulterous woman, John 8; Mark 7: A Gentile woman and her sick daughter.) C. Do you understand? They were taught this truth by Jesus: God cares about every life! They would have learned that people like us are important if these disciples had followed the majority of us around. people in our financial class; people who are of our ethnicity; individuals of our skin color; Everyone, regardless of their religious affiliation, etc., is important. However, no one is permitted to be different. Jesus is different! He reached out to everyone, no matter who they were or where they were, because he loved them all! Note: Isn't it wonderful that He didn't limit the kind of people He would love? He wouldn't have chosen you and me if He had!) D. What is my point? You will discover the truth that God does not wish for anyone to perish, 2 Peter, if you follow the right person. 3:9; that Jesus died for the sins of the world, Luke 19:10; Mark 16:15, and that the Gospel should be preached to everyone, everywhere, Mark 2:17; Matt. 28:19-20! II. A. James and John are seen "repairing" their nets in verse 19, so we have to finish the right preparations. "to render complete, to prepare, or to strengthen" is the meaning of this word. To put it another way, they are busy preparing their casting nets. They want to make sure that the fish can't swim through the holes in their nets. They want to ensure that their nets will not collapse. B. We must also ensure that our nets are ready to cast if we are to be successful fishermen of men in this world. What's my point? Well, some of them include: 1. 2 Cor. says, "Be sure of your own salvation." 3:5; 2 Pet. 1:10 2. Know what the Lord has done for you and how to share it with others. The straightforward story of how Jesus saved you and changed your life is your best witnessing tool. Note: You don't have to be a theologian to do this! Ill. John 9:25, "The blind man at the temple." 3. 1 Peter says to pray and get ready for the Lord to use you when He gives you opportunities to witness. 3:15 C. In what shape do your nets appear this evening? So that the Lord can use your life to reap His harvest, plug the gaps and strengthen the nets! III. A. According to verse 16, Jesus discovered Peter and Andrew while they were casting their nets. WE MUST FIND THE RIGHT PROCESS. They were "Casting first on one side, then on the other," as that expression suggests. In other words, they were trying to catch fish by casting those nets everywhere! B. This teaches us, the men-fishers, a valuable lesson: We are going to be doing the business of catching fish wherever we go! The Lord Jesus' strategy is, in my opinion, the best plan I've ever seen for witnessing! He simply gave the massage to everyone he met! Every circumstance He encountered in His day-to-day life served as an opportunity for Him to inquire about the state of a person's soul. He talked to a woman who was thirsty by using a water well. He used bread to talk to a lot of hungry people. He used commonplace life experiences to get the message across to farmers and merchants about seed and money. This is a fact that I firmly adhere to: If we pay attention to His voice and are sensitive to what is going on, any conversation can become one about Jesus Christ! C. What procedure is appropriate? Is that the Roman Path? Is John 3:16 the one? Those are fine, but in reality, the correct method is a Spirit-filled saint pointing a lost sinner toward Jesus Christ, Acts 1:8! In essence, all that matters is this: Witnessing amounts to one beggar pointing another beggar in the right direction for bread. That's how it works! It worked for me, it worked for you, and God wants us to use that same process to influence others! IV. A. I would assume that Peter and Andrew were casting their nets into the water. WE MUST FISH THE RIGHT PLACES. Do you know why? because the fish reside there! If they had put their nets on the dry ground, they would have wasted their time. They would have to go where the fish were if they wanted to keep them in their nets! B. When it comes to witnessing, the same truth holds true! We have to go to where people are if we want to save them! That is, we are to go beyond the walls of this location and cast a net into the world to preach the Gospel to the lost! In order to spread the word, we need to take an active role in this. We hold the cure for the disease that is killing people. We must spread the word to everyone! We preach the Gospel in the church, but if we want to see people saved, we need to preach the Gospel everywhere! C. Ill. Haggai 2:19 poses a crucial inquiry: Is the barn still housing the seed?” The result is as follows: The seed cannot be planted, germination cannot occur, and harvest cannot occur as long as it remains in the barn. Seed can't accomplish its goal if it just sits in the barn! The Gospel seed is the same way! If you want to harvest it, you have to get it out of the barn and plant it everywhere! D. Although we are aware of this, we do not always know where to fish, do we? However, Jesus Christ does so, Luke 4:5-7; John 21:6. He will direct our steps to the areas where the fish are biting if we will listen to His voice and have our nets repaired and ready. Note: In salvation, God is sovereign! He is devising a strategy to save His chosen ones. If we follow Him and fish where He directs us, He will direct us to the appropriate locations! Naturally, we might not like the place He tells us to fish. We are faced with a decision at that point. Will we fish where Jesus tells us to, or will we fish our own way and come up empty? (John 21:3) V. Having the right patience is essential. A. Take note of what Jesus said to Peter and Andrew: "I will make you to become fishers of men." The present tense is used in that statement. That is to say, they would reach their destination, but it would take time! This is what I like: Jesus recognized their potential long before it was fully realized. They changed into: Acts 2:41: Peter is a preacher. 4:4), author of the Bible; Personal witness, Andrew (John 1:41; John 6:8-9; Acts 12:21); Acts 12:2 describes James as a martyr; John was a pastor, preacher, and author of five books in the New Testament, including The Revelation. He was in close relationship with Jesus and encouraged many saints, 1 John 1:1. B. Take note that they did not choose Jesus; rather, Jesus chose them. Ill. Typically, followers select a rabbi to follow. Jesus pursued His disciples and selected them with the intention of capturing them similarly to these men, equipping them to share in His mission!!) C. Friend, you may feel as though you will never be a witness this evening! You want to see people saved and lead them to Heaven, but you feel so unprepared and inadequate. Listen, my friend, if Jesus can use these foolish fishermen to change the world, He can also use you! In point of fact, He probably has already, and you have no idea when or how. Conc: Acts 1:8 reveals that He has already equipped you. Therefore, repair those nets, pursue Jesus, and follow Him to the place where you can fish! After all, He is responsible for the harvest! Poor Sunday School instructor for Moody. Unliterate man in Texas who is ill.

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