February 7 I Wednesday
“‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’” —Matthew 4:19
Have you ever received an invitation so enticing that you dropped everything to answer it? This is what happened to Peter, Andrew, James and John while fishing one day. Scripture says they immediately dropped their nets and began ministry with Jesus. For the next three years, they experienced a complete overhaul of their lives and professions that began with a simple invitation.
“Come, follow me.” This is not an invitation to become a Christian or to imitate Jesus. Many well-meaning Christians grow frustrated with the Christian life because they think following Jesus means trying to act like Him and being the best person they possibly can. “Follow me,” does not mean “do what Jesus would do,” but is a term for discipleship. Following Christ is not about walking behind Him but about walking in step with Him and being dependent on His indwelling presence. It is about keeping our eyes and ears open so that where God is at work, we are available to join Him.
Jesus Himself lived this way throughout His ministry. In John 5:19, He describes His working relationship with the Father by saying, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” Though fully God, Jesus humbled Himself by living in complete dependence on the Father, and always making Himself available to Him so that God could accomplish His work through Him.
Answering the call to follow Jesus by keeping in step with Him and dependent on Him comes with a promise: “I will send you out to fish for people,” or as the ESV puts it, “I will make you fishers of men.” The vast majority of us are not called to be missionaries, evangelists or the next Billy Graham, but as we allow Jesus to work in and through us, He will use our words and actions to draw others to Himself. He will equip us with whatever skills and experiences we need to speak into the lives of others so they too can experience what it means to be indwelt by Jesus and become partakers of His work in this world.
To answer the call of Jesus is a deliberate and wilful decision on our part. It will mean prayerfully studying Scripture, and asking God to give us discernment in understanding His Word. It will mean open, honest discussion with others about the Christian faith and it will mean patience. Fishing for people takes time, but we can trust the Holy Spirit to direct us to the hearts He is preparing, and we will discover there is no greater joy than to reap a harvest for Christ!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to answer the call of every Christian. Make me a “fisher of people” and grant me many opportunities to be the vessel that leads others to You. Thank You, Lord.