"One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God.He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken,and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him." Luke 5:1-11
Jesus' last recorded words on earth had to do with being a witness for the Gospel. And here in some of His first recorded words at the beginning of His earthly ministry He is giving the call to become witnesses.
I find in these key verses three significant insights into becoming a witness for Christ and the Gospel. This morning I will share the first.
Following a powerful preaching session from a fishing boat on the Galilean shore, Jesus invited the boat owner to follow Him. He assured them if they faithfully followed Him they would become fishers of men.
Notice what Jesus didn't say. He didn't say, "Get some education and then you will become a witness."
Nor did He say, "Get some experience and then come follow me." What He did say was, "Follow me and I will give you the education and the experience to fish for men."
What does it mean to follow Jesus? Sounds simple enough but it isn't easy. Let's learn from the disciples.
Following required a decision. Would they continue to do what they knew best and keep fishing or would they leave the security of what they knew to answer the call of Jesus.
The call of Jesus comes to each of us and each of us must decide if we will leave all and follow Him.
Following required a direction. It almost seems too obvious but in order to follow they must go in the direction Jesus. It is Jesus Who decides which way they should go not them. He would become their compass, your GPS and tour guide!
If you decide to follow Jesus He will determine the direction of your life from that day forward. Followers follow His direction.
Following Jesus would require discipleship. Deciding to follow Jesus and going in His direction would demand obedience. My favorite definition of discipleship comes from Eugene Peterson who said, "Discipleship is a long obedience in the same direction."
If you make the decision to follow Jesus and change the direction of your life you will be required to life the life of obedience to Him. There is no other way.
Finally, following Jesus leads to a destiny. Faithful followers of Jesus fish for men.
The call of Jesus comes to each of us. It is a call to decide. It is a change of direction. It leads to discipleship. It results in the destiny of fishing for men.