Updated: Mar 23, 2019
by Dave Miller
Follow me and I will make you fishers of men. – Jesus
The evening was like any other for Simon and Andrew. They took the boats out with their partners James and John while the sea was calm and the fishing was good. All night long they threw the nets over the edge, drug them back into the boat, and looked closely to find no fish. The night was getting long.
When the sun peaked over the horizon they made their way to shore exhausted with nothing to show for the night. Like always they cleaned the nets, shored the boats, and made preparation for the next evening. While they were still cleaning the nets Jesus, the one who had healed Simon’s mother-in-law, came walking with a large crowd toward the shoreline.
The crowds pressed in to hear, so Jesus stepped into Simon’s boat asking him to push out into the water. The seashore was a great place to teach since his voice would carry. Jesus took a seat. It wasn’t long before he was done teaching and turned to Simon.
“Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch,” Jesus said.
“Master,” Simon replied. “We toiled all night and took nothing. But at your word I will let down the nets.”
Curiosity maybe? Simon listens to Jesus and disregards the last few hours. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to hear when I just get done cleaning the dishes after dinner is “I’m hungry” from one of my five children. My response is not to start cooking again. Simon and Andrew, however, gave the nets a fling allowing them to sink towards the bottom.
Simon grabbed the rope tightly starting the tug back into the boat. The net was a little heavier than usual. Andrew and Simon pulled until the nets began to break. Fish came pouring into the boat. One of the biggest catches they had ever seen! The catch was a little more than expected and frantically they waved at James and John to bring the other boat over for help.
James and John floated up next to them and started piling fish into their boat. It seemed they would never stop. More fish, then more fish, then too many fish. The boats began to sink. Jesus just sat there waiting to see Simon’s response. He didn’t seem to mind the increasing mass of fish flopping at his feet or the slowly sinking boat.
The catch was overwhelming. Simon had never seen anything like this before. There was something very different about this man sitting at the end of his boat. He had healed his mother-in-law’s fever and now he turned a wasted night into the catch of a lifetime! Simon collapsed at the feet of the Master and said, ““Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” James and John, partners with Simon, could not believe what they were seeing either.
“Do not be afraid,” Jesus told Simon. “From now on you will be catching men.” The men left everything and followed him.
Following Jesus will make you a fisher of men. When you follow Jesus you become like him. When you become like him you will do as he does. Jim Putman described three key attributes of a disciple from Matthew 4:19 when Jesus said to Simon, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
“Follow me,” Putman wrote, “[is] a simple invitation. This invitation indicates our acceptance of Jesus — his authority and his truth — at the head level. . . . It’s that simple. Jesus leads. We follow.” 
The next phrase “and I will make you” “tells us that discipleship involves Jesus molding our hearts to become more like his. . . . In other words, a disciple of Jesus is changed by Jesus.” 
We are changed into “Fishers of men.” “If our acceptance of Jesus begins in the head and extends to the heart, it leads to a change in what we do with our hands. In other words, a disciple of Jesus is saved for a purpose. This means that we join Jesus on his mission to love and reach a lost and hurting world.” 
Do you live as one in Jesus’ mission to seek and to save that which is lost?
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Until there's #NoPlaceLeft...
This story is an adaptation from Luke 5 and Matthew 4.
Putman, Jim; Harrington, Bobby; Coleman, Robert (2013-04-23). DiscipleShift: Five Steps That Help Your Church to Make Disciples Who Make Disciples (Exponential Series) (p. 46). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Putman, Jim; Harrington, Bobby; Coleman, Robert (2013-04-23). DiscipleShift: Five Steps That Help Your Church to Make Disciples Who Make Disciples (Exponential Series) (p. 48). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Putman, Jim; Harrington, Bobby; Coleman, Robert (2013-04-23). DiscipleShift: Five Steps That Help Your Church to Make Disciples Who Make Disciples (Exponential Series) (p. 49). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Sentergy: When Jesus, People, Practice and Theology Collide
Chapter 1: The Glory of God
Chapter 2: The Glory of God in Jesus
Chapter 3: The Glory of God in the Gospel
Chapter 4: The Glory of God in Disciple Making
Chapter 5: If You Love Me You Will Obey What I Command
Chapter 6: Monday Morning Disciple Making
Chapter 7: Monday Morning Disciple Making Part 2
Interlude: The Father's Heart
Conclusion: The Lump In Your Throat