Matthew 4:18-25: Follow Jesus
January 9, 2021
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Genesis 24, Psalm 9, Matthew 4:18-25, Acts 5:17-42
Jesus calls Peter and Andrew with a simple and profound utterance: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (4:19). They were already fishermen—fishers of fish. But Jesus was now calling them to be fishers of men. They were being tasked with a new role, not any more employing their skills for the fishing trade, but now using those skills for a different goal and aim—to catch men. Instead of taking fish from life to death, they were taking men from death to life. How well Jesus knew those he was calling! He termed the call of discipleship and the call to follow him and to evangelism and shepherding in terms that those he was calling could understand. They knew what it was to be fishermen. They were, perhaps, owners of a small fishing business—or the equivalent thereof—they were practical, hardworking men who had learned the art of catching fish. Now they must learn a new art, the art of being a soul winner.
Have you taken up Jesus’ call to you to follow him? If not, listen again to the authoritative and kind call of Jesus which cuts across all pretense and vacillation: follow him. Plain and simple. Follow where he leads. Follow what he teaches. Follow his Word. Follow his instruction. Model your life after the life that he calls his followers to put into practice. Follow him.
And if you have heeded Jesus’ call to follow him, have you heeded his call to be fishers of men? Are you utilizing your skills, your gifts and your abilities for the great purpose of soul winning? Are you looking for opportunities in the supermarket, in the neighborhood, in your home, in the workplace, in church, in business, at school, at university—are you utilizing your particular gifting and abilities, your experience and expertise, for this great purpose of moving people from death to life? If not, take an inventory of your time and how you spend it, and ask yourself whether you could orientate your time around the great goal of being “fishers of men.” What would it take to set priorities and goals so that your skills and expertise were being used to be soul winners?
Jesus’ fame is now growing. He is proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing disease and affliction. As you might expect, vast crowds gathered to him. It is the same today when the authentic Jesus is proclaimed. There is none like him, none more beautiful, none more caring, none more powerful, none more practical for the daily need of our daily lives. Let us then follow him and teach others to do the same.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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