Jesus Christ at the age of 30 calling His first disiples; ‘And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.’ Although we see throughout the Old Testament many great servants of God, here in the New Testament we see Jesus calling His first servants – the servant of Christ; calling them as fishers of men. Jesus compares this calling to that of a fisherman. Remarkable, because the fishermen of those days didn’t just fish to feed their families, but they also served the communities around them by bringing fresh fish to the market place. The importance of this comparison isn’t just looking at a fisherman catching fish; but also that he will sort the fish out, clean them and prepare them before presenting it at the market place.
Within the general Christian call, we all should understand that we have first been called to evangelism before any other calling like pastor, teacher, prophet, missionary, usher, etc… The call of evangelism is a direct comparison to that of a fisherman. A fisherman does not just simply go to a spot and cast his net hoping to catch something. He strategically plans his outing, going not only prepared, but also equipped to catch fish. Let’s take a quick look at some characteristics of a fisherman:
1] He is skilled
2] He is prepared
3] He is equipped
4] He use strategy
5] He is patient
6] He discern the waters
7] He is a servant of his community
Also, a fisherman will not take to shore every fish he had caught; some fish is not ready to be caught and are tossed back into the water. The same as a Christian fisherman [soul-winner], like the fisherman at sea, we must understand that not every fish [soul], that’s caught up in our nets are ready. We must discern which can be taken to the market place and which we must let go. There is a great possibility that that fish will be caught later again, maybe in someone else’s net. Even when you rightly equipped, using the right bait, you may still end up catching an immature fish. This is vital in Christian soul-winning – Not every fish which is caught in your net is yours; but those that are you need to bring to shore and into the market place.
After a fisherman has caught his fish, he sorts them into different baskets. It is important as a Christian fisherman that we don’t only catch our fish, but also sort them [placing them in the right place within a ministry. We now have gone prepared, equipped with the Word; cast our nets by preaching the Word, caught our fish through those who heard and believed, we have brought the fish [souls] unto the boat through leading them in the salvation prayer, we even sorted them in placing them in church groups, home-cells and fellowship groups [brought them to shore and delivered them to the market place]; but there’s more… We should ensure that every soul entering our midst is equipped with a solid foundation. Many ministries has foundation classes, some call in fresh-start classes, New-beginning classes, etc; whatever you call it, it is the soul-winner’s [fisherman’s] responsibility to ensure they are thoroughly equipped.
To be a servant goes far beyond soul-winning; it is a life of serving those below and above you, it is a life of serving with others, and above all, it is a life of serving Christ. GALATIANS 6:9 says: ‘Do not grow weary in doing good, for at just the right time you will be rewarded.’ Serving others, serving with others, and serving Christ is rewarding; but many of us grow weary in doing this kind of good, therefore we miss the reward. Jesus is the Boss, work for Him. Is it not written that He will give us rest [Matt.11:28]; that His yoke is easy [Matt.11:30]… Don’t try and be the boss of yourself, learn to follow instruction, be obedient and get the work done. You have an authority over you; even your very own life is not yours to live, but Christ to live [Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain]. Jesus said: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen’ [Matt.28:19-20]. Like Peter in John 21:6 – we have Jesus in our boat; just learn to obey His voice. Go out to the place He is leading you to, cast your net and fill your boat.
Mark 16:17-18; “And these signs will accompany those who believe. In my name they will drive out demons: they will speak in new tongues, 18they will pick up snakes with their hands, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be made well.” We go, like a fisherman who has left his equipment at home; and we come back empty handed. Every time we step out we ought to see our community, workplace, school, social circles, etc.. .as a sea full of fish. That’s our ocean to catch fish; the church is our market place, where we serve fresh products and work together with others in putting food on the table of the Lord.
Who are we to be mindful of ourselves; let’s see Jesus in Mark 10:45 in what we do – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Can’t we in return give our time?
Philippians 2:5-8; “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
We find a remarkable story in Luke 22:24-30 reading; “And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ “But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest [least], and the leader like the servant. “For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Even a servant must eat; this is our time to serve, the time of eating will come; indeed a time of a great feast! 1 Corinthians 10:24; “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbour.”
Paul through the revelation of the Spirit gives sound advice to us, saying in 1Coritnians 4:1: “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”
In closing, let us take another look at a remarkable account in John 13:12-15; “So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”
You and I, no matter what your position is in the church, no matter what your educational or professional statues is, always remember that you and I are first Servants of Christ before anything else. If Jesus Who was God Himself in the flesh [John1:14] could be a servant to us, why can’t we be servants of Christ and of one another as the Lord instructed us? ‘Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you’ [James4:10]. You don’t need to seek recognition, neither exalt yourself; the Lord will do the exalting – Amen!
Teaching by Evng./ Pst. Rudi Ferreira
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