Years ago when my wife and I visited Israel, we got up early one morning to watch the sun rise over the Sea of Galilee. What an unforgettable and beautiful sight! It could have been a morning like that when Jesus walked along the Sea of Galilee and called out to Peter and Andrew and later to James and John, saying, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19).
Jesus still invites His disciples to follow Him. Have you responded to His personal invitation?
This invitation to follow Jesus reveals the priority of a personal relationship. The words “Follow me” invite believers to know Jesus, and with the phrase, our Lord does not command any to engage in fishing or training or a particular career, neither does He promote sanctification or service. “Follow me” is an appeal to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is an invitation to walk with Jesus, to converse with Him, to yield to His leadership and power.
When you follow Jesus, He promises to supernaturally transform you. “I will make you” implies a process, and as you follow in faith, He enables with grace. He, by His Spirit, will equip you with the divine truth of the gospel. How? He may lead you to a course on evangelizing. The Holy Spirit works through our cooperating faculties, not around them. The more gospel truth you know, the greater your capacity to witness to a wider audience. Further, as you trust Him for His power, He will equip you with the divine power of the Holy Spirit enabling you to speak unashamedly of Jesus and enabling the hearers to hear with understanding (Luke 11:13; John 7:37-39). He will lead you to applications of witnessing. As you follow Jesus, He will love people through you and draw people to Himself through your Spirit-led witness.
The relationship with Jesus leads to the transformation where we become “fishers of men.” In the biblical account this meant a change of vocation for Peter, Andrew, James and John. Some others (but not all disciples) have had to make similar changes in order to follow Him, but for everyone who will follow Him, the transformation will certainly involve a mission change. The disciples responded positively to the invitation Christ offered. They immediately left their nets and “followed him.” Over time, Jesus made them into the effective fishers of men depicted in the book of Acts.
Will you respond in like manner and follow Jesus?
For equipping a fisher of souls, the Netcasters Evangelistic Training Course provides instruction on the Spirit-filled life applied to witnessing. The Netcasters Tackle Box provides (A) online streaming video training sessions, (B) the Netcasters Workbook, a spiral-bound companion to the training sessions, (C) the Netcasters Viewbook, a spiral-bound visual aid flipchart for proclaiming the Netcasters gospel presentation, (D) Discover Eternal Life, the Netcasters gospel presentation in a 24-page Bible study booklet, (E) Good News tracts (pack of 100), a shortened version of the Netcasters gospel presentation, (F) The Revived Life (book), a progression of truth on the Spirit-filled life, and (G) a sampling of tracts, including How? a full-color, 16-page modification of the “Confrontation With Truth” booklet that can be given as a tract or used like a flip-chart when presenting the gospel.
John Van Gelderen