I’ll make you a fisher of man [Part 1]   Leave a comment

Fisher of man

Fisher of man

Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” Mat. 4:19

It’s been a few months since I started to ponder on this question: “How to be effective in evangelism?” After reading a blog which somehow addressed this question, I started to meditate more on the Great Commission. Jesus was the one who first taught how to fish for people and gave it as a command to His disciples before ascending to heaven (Mat 28:18). It is therefore interesting to see how Jesus taught His disciples to fish for people.

Why should I fish for people?

On April 2010, the Gulf of Mexico was struck with the greatest oil-spill tragedy which affected severely the marine eco-system . It was estimated that about 5 millions barrels of oil spilled in the Gulf and countless marine animals were intoxicated and died. Scientists captured marine animals for rehabilitation and cleansing but unfortunately could not save all.

Jesus said “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” Mat. 24:12

Just like oil has been spread over a large surface area, so has sin been spread throughout the world.The Good News is simple: We’re telling people that they have been intoxicated by sin and that only Jesus can save them.

  • Follow me

In order to be effective and efficient fishers of men, we must first be followers of Jesus. The disciples learned how to fish by following the way Jesus did. We cannot make disciples if we’re not ourselves disciples. A disciple is one who obeys the teachings of His master, who allows the divine Potter to mold his character and who submits his entire will to the Holy Spirit.  In a previous post we have seen the difference between a disciple and a believer. If we’re entangled by the things of this world and love our family, our job or life more than Jesus we cannot be a disciple of Jesus(Mat. 10:37). The reason why evangelism became an activity amongst others in churches and not the  main activity of the church is because leaders themselves are entangled by the things of this world and they find it difficult to make it a personal priority. Since it’s not a personal priority for them, the church’s priority is influenced by theirs. The disciples left their jobs and family immediately when Jesus called them to follow Him in this great cause of saving people from hell. The disciples did not know what was awaiting them ahead when they followed Jesus. The more they followed Him, the clearer the vision became when they saw Him heal the sick, cast out demons, teach the crowds and rise the deads. If you follow Jesus, you’ll see what He can do and this will give you faith when He’ll send you to do greater things in His name (Rom. 15:17-19).

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.  Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” John 14:12-14

We are just messengers telling people that Jesus cleansed us from sin which once stuck like oil in our flesh. Jesus has taken us from darkness to light(Eph. 5:8), gave us living water(John 7:37) and prepared a divine place for us (Jn 14:2).

  • Where to GO?

Jesus’ command was clear: GO !

But where to go?

We need to go to the world, literally everywhere. Your neighbors, colleagues, employees, children and parents all need to hear the Good News.

“Jesus traveled throughout Galilee teaching in the synagogues, preaching everywhere the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed people who had every kind of sickness disease” Mat.4:23

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road…Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay“Luke 10:5

Jesus said that the harvest is great but there’re few laborers. The tragedy is that among the few laborers, most of them are fishing in the same region. Jesus sent his disciples in small groups in order to be more efficient and effective. Persecution caused Christians to be scattered throughout the world but God turned out this evilness to good as it allowed the Good News (Acts 8:4, 11:19) to reach more people.

I once observed than going to fish in large group is not a good idea as it causes the fish to be scared due to too much disturbances by the fishermen. If all the fishermen were scattered, they would have covered a larger area and had more chances to catch fishes.  It’s the same with fishing for men. Paul also had this strategy:

My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. I have been following the plan spoken of in the Scriptures, where it says,“Those who have never been told about him will see,and those who have never heard of him will understand.” Rom.15:20, 2 Cor. 10:16

Regions which have been exposed to intensive evangelism programs have become confused, saturated and accuse Christians of brainwashing and targeting weak people. If you live in such a place, GO to places which have never been exposed to the gospel to be more efficient. If most of the people you meet are Christians then it’s most likely that you’ll never catch a fish. We need to go towards those who do not share our faith in order to have a Good News to tell. Jesus was judged by the religious leaders for being a friend of sinners.

Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Mat. 9:11

What would a doctor accomplish good if he examined only healthy people? Eating with sinners never made you one. If you want to be effective and efficient in evangelism, you need to go where the sick people are.

 

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Posted September 24, 2016 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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