Jesus Makes Fishers of Men!
Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Discipleship has become one of the trademark elements for a thriving church in this modern era but sadly, we have traded in a work that Christ does in us for the methods and spiritual calisthenics of a church culture.
We are never told by Jesus to go and make disciples rather, He told us to “go” and that He would make us fishers of men. Later in Matthew’s Gospel we are told; Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: We have substituted “teach all nations” with “Make disciples of all nations”. We can all acknowledge that the early disciples were called and devoted to the discipline of following Jesus in obedience and with devotion and it is as if Jesus was telling them to go live out the things He was doing in them before all of the people.
Fishing for men was the byproduct that He produced in them as they followed Him and Jesus alone is and has always been the maker of disciples and not us. It is easy produce programs for discipleship and everyone has one! How much better would it be if we simplified our methods for discipleship, embraced this very evident biblical modicum, and finally came to the realization that in an intimate and relational walk with Him, He alone produces fishers of men who are what I like to call Living Epistles. What I mean about that is… Everything in the life of an individual who is centered on Christ will supernaturally in a very natural ways, walk as one of His disciples, and that it is fleshed out and flushed out of these cracked pots we call earthen vessels in the most unconventional ways as we “go”.
I personally think that we can become very high centered on programs for the production of discipleship and that when we make those programs the centerpiece of our cultural christianity; Jesus gets left out, we feel good about producing disciples but we still feel alone in our walk, and that we build huge impressive gatherings of the disciples we made, but still, nobody ever goes fishing!
Practically, I know this works because I have recently set across the table from two different men who have most effectively discipled me with their life and not their methods. Their central focus was Christ and not their status, or accomplishments. The power in their story comes from a life devoted to following Christ and it makes true disciples of whoever they come in contact with.
Food for thought!