Follow Me, and I will Make You Fishers of Men.
Strong and Courageous
August 17, 2018
These profound words of Jesus are recorded in the gospels of Matthew and Mark. In context, this statement was spoken to the disciples Peter and Andrew at the very beginning of their calling. Jesus is so personal in his appeal to them. They were fisherman, what an adventure for them to be taught how to fish for the souls of men. The text says that they immediately dropped their nets and followed him.
I personally love to fish. In my semi-retirement, I have started fly-fishing in the rivers throughout the state of Oregon. I have also started to tie my own flies, which is very rewarding when you follow a recipe to build a fly that closely resembles the bugs that the trout are feeding on. This constantly changes throughout the season. Different hatches are taking place all of the time, so you have to make constant adjustments in order to be consistently successful. This process requires me to engage my mind at a much more strategic level than just tossing a worm out there.
There is also a lot of trial and error in this journey. Certain flies only work at specific times when the hatch is on. I wasn’t instantly adept at catching bunches of big ones. However, I have discovered that the time when I do not perform well, is the time when I make the decision not to go out on the water. You can’t catch em, if you aren’t in the game.
There are also some profound lessons in the aspect of learning to be fishers of men. I believe that Jesus’ call to Peter and Andrew was meant for us today, just as much as it was to them back then. Jesus says follow me and I will make you… the Idea is that Jesus is the one that makes us, we don’t make ourselves.
Concerning our being salt and light to those around us, it is important to understand that God is in the business of drawing men unto himself. He is still doing this today, in spite of the flow of our society against the things of God. Our lives are meant to serve as an example as followers of Christ. We are to following his lead, to find out what he is up to in the lives of those around us, and then walk in obedience to him. We should be reflecting a holy lifestyle for kingdom purposes and kingdom business.
Here is where the excitement and fun comes into play.
Just as a fly angler is intentional about tossing the right fly with the right presentation out there, we are to adapt to the constantly changing culture around us without compromising the message of the gospel.
This is certainly challenging and we are not going to be perfect all of the time. In the book titled Plastic Jesus by Eric Sandras, PhD, he states, “Anything in the Kingdom of God that is worth doing- is worth doing poorly.” Wait a minute, did he say that right? Shouldn’t it mean doing well, instead of poorly? No, you were right, he does use the word “poorly.” He goes on to say, “Many of us are afraid to fail, so we never even try to succeed. We are afraid of rejection or imperfection or looking foolish, so we succumb to public opinion rather than God’s divine one. Doing poorly doesn’t mean doing things apathetically or irreverently. It means doing them humanly…Yes, we want to do our best with what we have been given. But our identity is not found in what we do or how well we do it.” This understanding frees us up to be in the game. As I said earlier, I won’t ever catch fish if I don’t actually get out there on the water. This is part of the adventure of life; it’s not a plastic belief that is just a spectator sport.
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