Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. —Mark 1:16–18 (ESV)
If you experienced church as a child, there is a good possibility that you heard a lesson about being ‘fishers of men’. Maybe you even know the song. But this story is for more than just children! It is for all of us.
In the larger passage from which today’s text comes, Jesus calls two pairs of fishermen, first Simon and his brother, Andrew, then James and his brother, John. What is the call? “Follow me!” And Jesus didn’t mean follow me for an hour, I’d like to teach you something. He meant, leave your occupation and follow me full-time as disciples. What’s more, Jesus says He would make them ‘fishers of men’—they will be trying to bring in more disciples rather than fish! And the crazy thing is, they followed the call. Mark reports: “Immediately they left their nets and followed him.”
Two points stand out from this passage. First, have you left everything to follow Jesus? That doesn’t mean you literally must leave everything. But it means you withhold nothing from the Lord and you are willing to leave anything to fulfill His call on your life. Second, as one fisherman might ask another, “Any bites?” Be sure your line is in the water—be looking for opportunities to share the gospel with others and bring them into the boat to fish, too. Teachers and parents: consider your task, in part, as ‘fishing’ as a disciple of Jesus Christ. And pray that the Lord would bring in a miraculous catch.