|TITLE: Fishing for People
THEME: Telling others about Jesus. (Third Sunday after the Epiphany.)
OBJECT: A rod and reel or other fishing equipment.
SCRIPTURE: Jesus called out to them, “Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and went with him. Matthew 4:19-20 (NLT)
Do you enjoy fishing? Have you ever caught a fish? Fishing is a great sport, and if you have ever been fishing and have caught a fish, you know that there is a great feeling of excitement when you catch a fish. One of the things that makes fishing such a great sport is that it doesn’t matter if you are young or old or if you are a girl or a boy — you can still be good at fishing.
What does it take to be good at catching fish? First of all, you need to be properly equipped. You can’t just get piece of string, put a hook on it, and tie it on the end of a stick and expect to catch very many fish, can you? No! If you are serious about fishing, you will make sure that you have all the right equipment. You will want a nice rod and reel, like this one I have this morning.
The next thing you need to know is that you can’t sit around talking with your friends about fishing or reading fishing magazines and expect to catch any fish. You have to go where the fish are to catch fish!
Finally, if you want to be good at fishing, you must learn patience. Sometimes the fish just aren’t biting. I guess that is the main reason I was never very good at fishing. I thought that you should catch a fish the minute your hook hit the water — and if I ever went fishing and didn’t catch anything — well, that’s why I gave up fishing.
One day, Jesus was walking along the seashore when he saw two brothers named Peter and Andrew. Jesus knew that they made their living by fishing, so he called out to them, “Follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” Do you know what they did? They laid down their fishing nets and followed Jesus.
Jesus wants you and me to fish for people too. That means that he wants us to tell others about what he has done for us and what he wants to do for them. What does it take to be a fisher of people?
First, we need to be properly equipped. We need to know what the Bible teaches and learn how to share it with others.
Next, we need to remember that we can’t just sit around reading the Bible and talking about fishing for people and expect to bring them to Jesus. We have to go out where the people are and tell them about Jesus.
Finally, we must learn patience. Everybody we tell about Jesus isn’t going to believe. Some people just won’t be interested, but we can’t give up. We just have to keep telling people about Jesus and let Jesus take care of the rest. If we will do these things, we can really become fishers of people like Jesus wants us to be. If you think there is a great feeling of excitement in catching a fish, just imagine how exciting it must be to bring someone to Jesus!
Dear Jesus, help us to become fishers of people. Help us to tell others what you have done for us — and what you want to do for them. Amen.