By Jay Pearson

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
(Matthew 4:19)


texas rigI love to fish and it’s no secret. I've told the world as I know it on Facebook. I’m pretty good at it when I use my baits and techniques I have been blessed with.

When bass fishing more often than not I use a plastic worm and what is called a "Texas Rig" (the top picture). You thread the upper part of the plastic worm on the hook and bring the barb back and hook it into the worm. This way it won't get caught it the weeds at the bottom of the lake. Above the hook and worm you place a sliding sinker and swivel. The crankbaitsinker or weight lets the worm sink in the water with a lively swirling action that attracts the fish. The swivel keeps the line from twisting all up in knots from the swirling action of the worm. Again, I’m good at fishing when I stay within my God-given abilities.

I've noticed over the years and more recently on our lakes that some fishermen use different baits and techniques than I do and get similar results. Some use "Crank" baits that mimic smaller fish or spinnercrayfish (the middle picture) and others use "Spinner" baits with lots of color and flash (the bottom picture). I've heard it said that some of these baits are designed to catch fishermen’s eyes quicker than fish. There is probably some truth to this. Some baits look pretty ridiculous. In any event I've tried some of these and the techniques that go along with them and I get nada, nothing, no bites and no fish. All I’m accomplishing is fishing. By the way, that’s why they call it fishing and not catching.

Sometimes fish want nothing to do with what you offer them. This can’t stop you from fishing. Jesus said, "I will make you fishers of men." Our job is to fish. Jesus said, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." The command is follow him. The promise is "I will make you fishers of men." Too often we try to do the work when it’s God’s job. He is the one who works in us to will and do of his good pleasure. Our strength, power, and reasoning does not compare with Almighty God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:13:
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Let’s go fishin'.

Luke 5:1-10:
1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

It is obvious that Peter’s net was let down in unbelief. As a consequence the net enclosed a lot of fish but it broke. It’s not the bait or the technique that catch men. It’s the Lord’s word: “thou shalt catch men." When the Lord says it, that’s it.

Numbers 23:19:
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

The Lord has guided us to be where we are today through our obedience to him. This is where and how you fish, with his guidance. You are unique and you are his workmanship. We are members of the body, yet members in particular.

1 Corinthians 12:27:
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

The Lord brought you here and will bring you home. The now is up to you. Follow him as he guides you. It's much more efficient and rewarding.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17:
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

Romans 2:7
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  

What a reward and what a promise! Let’s look at another fishing trip.

John 21:1-14:
1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.
2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

Jesus told them to bring the fish they had caught. This net Jesus took accountability for. In verse 6, he said cast THE net, not YOUR net. The net did not break even with the multitude of fish.

John 21:10
Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.

The net did not break and therefore they could bring the fish they had caught. Do you want to do your part in spreading the gospel? I do! Do you want to be fishers of men? I do! Then we must first follow the Lord and second submit to him to work in us to bring it to pass.

Spreading the gospel for some may be with words. For others it may be expressing godliness to strangers, others helps, others song. For all it is reflecting Jesus Christ in worldly situations as he directs.

Expressing the gospel in church is easy. In the world, fishing for men requires greater reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever our profession, hobbies, the places we frequent we only need to follow the Lord’s command and receive his direction and reflect what he has given us.

I make the best Jay Pearson in this world to share the gospel with the talents, personality, and the gift that I have been given. I won’t be an effective copycat of you. You let down your net in faith and I will let down my net. The Lord will provide us both with the catch. If we don’t see the catch today we will when we stand before the Lord. The Lord has your back, front, top and bottom. The Lord said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”

Numbers 23:19:
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Matthew 4:19:
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

good catchFollow the Lord’s guidance and the particular step for you. Have faith in the Lord’s ability to work in you to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Let’s go fishin’!



Presented July 31, 2016