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, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 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. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 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. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 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. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 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. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. - Luke 5:1-11
In this podcast, we will look at the five things that every Fisher of Men needs to do:
- Follow the right person
- Make the right preparations
- Know the right process
- Fish in the right place
1. Follow the right person
And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him. - Mark 1:18-20
The first thing that an individual needs to do in order to become a fisher of men, is to ensure that you are following the Lord Jesus Christ and not just doing things your own way.
What does it mean to follow Jesus?
- Set aside our goals
- Set aside our pleasures
- Embrace his purpose for our lives
- a personal relationship with him
- to make other disciples
- Exchange our:
- Priorities…For his
To learn from him
Learn from his interactions with others. Notice how he dealt with people, how he dealt with the woman at the well in John 4:6-26, how he dealt with the leper in Mark 1:40-44, how he dealt with the demon-possessed man in Mark 5:1-19. Jesus did not condemn them for their sins but rather offered them deliverance from their sins. His desire is that all would come to repentance and be saved from the penalty of sin:
- Luke 19:10
- 1 Timothy 1:15
- 2 Peter 3:9
2. Make the right preparations
And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. - Mark 1:19
The fishermen were busy mending their nets. They were ensuring that their nest would not break under the strain of the fishing process. If their nets were frayed or torn, the fish would slip through the holes in their nets, and they wanted to ensure that they did not lose any of the fish.
Check your nets for any holes
Be sure that you are putting your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and that you are not putting your trust in church membership, a baptism or any other good works that you have done:
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; - 2 Corinthians 3:5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. - Titus 3:5-7
You need to be rooted and grounded in your own salvation before you can be an effective fisher of other men. You need to know what you believe before you will be confident enough to share those beliefs with others:
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. - Ephesians 3:17-19Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. - Colossians 2:7-8
Know what the Lord did for you
It is not necessary to become a Theologian in spiritual matters, just be willing and able to share your own personal story:
Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. - John 9:15-25
The man who had his sight restored did not know much, but he did know what the Lord had done for him, and he was ready to share his story with anyone who would ask (1 Peter 3:15)
3. Know the right process
The next thing that these fishermen need to know was that they needed to know and to employ the right process to catch the fish:
Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. - Mark 1:16
They were busy casting the net. If you are going to catch any fish, you must actually cast the net first. Jesus shared the Gospel Message everywhere that he went:
- The well of water
- to a thirsty woman (John 4)
- to a hungry multitude (John 6)
- to farmers (Mark 4)
- to merchants (Luke 19)
Jesus used everyday experiences and situations to get the message out, and we can do the same today. He left us these examples for us to learn from.
What is the right process?
The processes used to communicate the good news of the gospel are numerous. One of the most popular methods is to use what is called the Romans Road.
The Romans Road explained:
- The Problem of mankind (Sin)
- Romans 3:23
- Romans 3:10
- The Consequences of that problem (Death)
- Romans 5:12
- Romans 6:23
- Romans 1:20
- The Solution to our problem (Jesus)
- Romans 5:8
- The Response (Acceptance of the solution)
- Romans 10:9-10
- The Assurance of Salvation
- Romans 10:13
- The Result of Salvation
- Romans 5:1
- Romans 8:1
- Romans 8:38-39
The Romans Road is a good process for sharing the gospel; however, it is not necessary to employ a process such as the Romans Road in order to share the Gospel.
The Right Process?
The right process is simply a Born Again Believer, pointing a lost sinner to the Lord Jesus Christ. You just need to share your personal testimony with others. Explain to them what the Lord has done for you, and explain the good news of the gospel in the simplest terms possible. How that Christ died for your sins, he was buried and rose again on the third day, and is now offering you salvation as a free gift.
4. Fish in the right place
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. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. - Luke 5:3-4
Jesus told them that in order to catch some fish, they needed to thrust out from the shore. To catch fish, you have to leave the shore:
Is the seed yet in the barn? - Haggai 2:19
As long as the seed stays in the barn, it can’t be planted. You may have the good stuff, and it may have the ability to bring forth much fruit, but as long as it stays in the barn, it will not accomplish the purpose for which it was designed. To become fishers of men, we must get out of the barn and off of the shoreline.
We have drifted away from being fishers of men, to being keepers of the aquarium. – Paul Harvey
We need to thrust out and launch into the deep
Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 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. - Luke 5:4-5
These fishermen did it their way all night and did not get any results. We need to go out further that we have gone before, we need to go outside of our comfort zones to become the fishers of men that we have been called to be. We need to stop doing it our way and start to do it the Lord’s way:
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. - John 21:6
5. Exercise Patience
Fishermen need to exercise patience, it is called fishing and not catching for a reason. Notice in Mark 1:17, that Jesus told them that he would make them become fishers of men. He used the future tense because it was going to take some time for them to become fishers of men. Remember in Luke 5:5, they had been out attempting to catch fish all night long and had caught nothing.
Disappointment and discouragement
How discouraging it must have been for professional fishermen to be completely unsuccessful in their own occupation. Do not let discouragement creep in, discouragement will lead to giving up as these fishermen had done. We need to depend on Gods ways and not in our own ways:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. - Isaiah 55:8
Success is in the Lord
And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 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. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 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. - Luke 5:6-10
When it looks useless and hopeless, just do what the Lord commands and the blessing will be more than you can handle.
You may feel like you will never be a good witness, you want to see people get saved, but you feel inadequate and unprepared.
Remember, the Lord used these uneducated fishermen to turn the world upside down and he will use you as well.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. - Acts 1:8
He has already equipped you to become a fisher of men. If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour then you have the Spirit of God residing within you and are therefore equipped to share the gospel with others.
- Follow Jesus
- Mend those nets
- Let him show you where the fish are and
The fishing is in our hands
The results are in his hands.
He wants you to become a fisher of men.
Our hope at Irvington Bible Baptist Church is that this podcast provided some encouragement and has helped you to develop a closer relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ.