Thursday, June 16, 2011
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19 KJV).
In Matthew 4:18, the Lord Jesus found two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew, fishermen casting their net into the Sea of Galilee. Today’s Scripture documents what Jesus told them. Verse 20 says “they straightway [immediately] left their nets, and followed him.” In the succeeding verses, Jesus calls two other fishermen, James and his brother John.
For the next three years, these four men would not be fishing ordinarily. They would be fishing with Jesus Christ. For what would they be fishing? The souls of lost Jews. Surely, it was going to be no ordinary fishing trip! Notice verses 23 and following:
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.”
These fishermen—now “fishers of men”—were serving with their Messiah Jesus of Nazareth. They saw Him perform amazing miracles as He demonstrated the powers of the world to come (Israel’s kingdom; Hebrews 2:3-5). For three years, these “fishers of men” would hear the words of eternal life from the lips of God Himself. Furthermore, they had the privilege of preaching “the gospel of the kingdom” to their fellow Jews.
Jesus later promised them that He would give them the power to teach and do what He did. God would utilize these “fishers of men” to reel in thousands of Jews’ souls to repentance (see Acts 2:41 and Acts 4:4). Surely, for all eternity, they will remember… that was no ordinary fishing trip!