“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
– Matthew 4:19
This was Jesus’ initial invitation to four disciples. Simon, also called Peter, Andrew, his brother, and then after that James, and John. Follow me and I will make you fishers of men. And in this picture, we see Jesus’ invitation to every single one of us.
Making disciples is a basic essential of what it means to be a disciple.
This Verse Leads Us to Invite Others to Follow Jesus
He has invited us to follow him, which is pure mercy from the start, that Jesus would, just like he did with these guys, he would come to us. He would initiate a relationship with us. That he would call us to himself. But the notice, as we follow him, the inevitable result. He says, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” And from the very beginning, following Jesus was attached to fishing for men.
Every follower would be made a fisher. And fishing for men. Obviously, Jesus is using an analogy here. This picture of how these were fishermen. They were used to this, and he was saying, “Listen, instead of just going out looking for fish, you’re now going to go out looking for people to bring into the kingdom. This is what it’s going to mean to follow me. As you follow me, you’re going to bring other people to follow me.”
Matthew 4:19 Reminds Us of the Cost of Following Jesus
I think about a friend of mine who served for a long time in a really hard part of the world when it comes to sharing the gospel. A dangerous part of the world. And as soon as they led someone to Christ in that part of the world, they would immediately say to them, “Okay, now that you’re a follower of Christ, write out all the people around you, in your sphere of influence, who don’t have a relationship with Christ, who don’t have faith in Christ,” which was pretty much every single person that new believer would know. And then they would say,
“Now circle the names of the five or ten people on this list who are least likely to kill you when you share the gospel with them.” From the very beginning of following Jesus, they were learning to think about fishing for men, leading other people to follow Christ. And the same reality should be evident in every single one of our lives.
Matthew 4:19 Leads Us to Share the Gospel with Others
We’ve created this picture, almost, in the church today where so many followers of Christ rarely, if ever, share the gospel of Christ with other people. And this should not be. Fishing for men is a basic part of following Christ. Making disciples is a basic essential of what it means to be a disciple.
And so let’s pray for one another that God would help us to fish for men. That God would help us not to neglect this glorious opportunity that God has called us to, to lead other people to Christ. What an amazing privilege we get to be a part of. Just as we are so thankful for the people who brought us to Christ, that we get to be that person. Those people in others’ lives.
This Verse Helps Remind Us to Fish for Men
So God help us. Help us to fish for men, we pray. You say right here, Jesus, that when we follow you, you will make us fishers of men. So we ask you today, make us fishers of men. Help us to look for people to be intentional, and working for other people to come to know Christ. Help us to pray toward that end. Help us to share the gospel toward that end. Lord, help us to share the good news of what you’ve done in Christ with somebody else today.
Lord, don’t let us, we pray, don’t let us go through our lives, as your followers, not fishing for men. Not doing what you have clearly called us to do, commissioned us, set us apart to do. Make us fishers of men, we pray. And we pray the fruit of our lives will be many other people. God, may it be so in each of our lives. May there be many people who are following Christ, because we have been intentional to fish for men. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.