“Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” Matthew 4:19–20
Much of the work Christ was to do during his years of ministry was not his work alone. Part of his purpose was to draw men and women to himself so that they could join him in his labors. By the words of instruction he gave and by the example of his life they were prepared to become co-laborers with the Savior of the world.
Many people live never feeling that their lives really matter or that they’re achieving any real purpose in the lives they live. I confess that many times I’ve felt that sense of meaninglessness and purposelessness in my own life as I’ve looked back at the end of the day and wondered if what I’ve accomplished really mattered or made any real difference.
This morning as I consider today’s focus text I see within it our Savior inviting us to have a share in the most important work that’s ever been done on this sin torn planet. In Jesus’ invitation to his disciples, as it echoes down through the centuries, I hear Christ offering to us the highest purpose any person could ever possess. Jesus is calling us to closeness and companionship with himself, and he’s commissioning us to be his partners in the reconciling of the world to himself.
The words “follow me” tell us that what we need is to alter our course. Perhaps our lives are directionless or maybe we’ve fixed our sights on the wrong goal. Jesus doesn’t leave anything to the vagaries of chance, the limitations of our perceptions, or the dubiousness of our sense of direction. Follow me is the call. Stay close to me. Look to me. Place your feet in my footsteps. Join me in this journey and I will lead you home.
Following him also gives us responsibility and purpose. “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Whenever a fisherman casts his net or line he does so with a single purpose. The action he takes also qualifies him to the title of fisherman.
So it is with the Christian. A Christian is one that follows Christ and joins him in his work. Christ’s every effort, his single purpose, is the saving of men and women. If we’re not joining him in this work we are unqualified to the title of Christian. If our lives don’t contribute positively to the churches responsibility of advancing the cause of the gospel in the world we cannot say that we are truly following Jesus.
I’m not saying you have to become a missionary and travel to the ends of the world. Jesus never traveled more that one hundred miles from the place he grew up. It’s people that need Jesus that need to be our passion and there are tens of thousands of them within just a few miles of where we live.
Jesus’ call is follow me. Follow me as I give myself to the world. Follow me as I call the people I love to me. “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”