Make Friends With A Fish!

Back in Jesus’ day fishing was more than a sport, it was people’s livelihood for income. We see Jesus in the first chapter of Mark calling forth disciples, people who chose to follow Him. In verses 16-20 Jesus calls out to Simon and Andrew, “Come, follow me and I will show you how to fish for people!” A little farther up the shore Jesus calls James and John. Notice how these four men responded. They left their nets at once and followed Him. James and John left their father and the rest of their co-workers in the boat.

I am married to not only a woodsy warrior but to the fish whisperer too!

You may be wondering, what does Jesus mean when He says He will show us how to fish for people? And why would He ask two sons who work with their father to leave him hanging with the family business? It is helpful to understand that Jesus was instating a new way of living. The New Testament was being established and Jesus was teaching and leading people in this new lifestyle. His death and resurrection made the Old Testament obsolete or cancelled out.

This New Testament lifestyle was taking shape as Jesus was calling forth believers. In the Old Testament, people had to wait for specific times of the year and go where God resided, in one place, and have priests make atonements for their sins. It was very tedious and gruesome to say the least. Read through the book of Leviticus and you will understand what I mean. With Jesus, He was and always will be, the open door which gives man full access to God. It is not about religion and a list of do’s and don’ts anymore. It is now about relationships and Jesus was calling forth people to follow Him in a personal way. As He does, He teaches how to love others; loving others in such a way where they come to follow Jesus too.

As He teaches, we see how He is not about division and chaos within His Kingdom. In God’s family, there is love, acceptance and unity. Division and chaos come from this segregated world which is marred by sin. Jesus came to be the saving grace, a lifeline, for us because we need rescuing from sin and this evil world.

Jesus went all the way with His beloved creation. He chose to leave heaven. He risked Himself by allowing free will. Man can choose to reject God’s calling and live for himself. He was born in a rancid manger as an infant. He experienced the limitations of the flesh. He remained sinless amidst the darkness. He is King over all kings, even in human form. He endured unfairness at the cross. Why? Because His blood was the only way for man to be free from the bondage of evilness.

Many animals were sacrificed in the Old Testament, over and over and over. Sin is constant and rampant. The New Testament only needed one sacrifice, Jesus Christ. He did not stay dead, HE AROSE and is ALIVE! Today, we live in this Age of Grace, as it’s called. We simply have to respond to Christ when He comes calling, like Simon, Andrew, James and John. They were willing to surrender their ways of living and live out what Jesus would tell them, just like the Samaritan woman at the well. Read about Zacchaeus in Luke 19. Jesus called him and he responded.

They trusted God with their livelihoods. They believed in His words. They had assurance that He will provide. They had hope that He will sustain them. And He did. They did not have to worry about paychecks and bills for they knew God is the God who provides, abundantly. Look up Ephesians 3:20, Philippians 4:19 and Psalms 81:10.

Jesus went all in. We are called to go all in.

If Jesus went all the way to save us and give us a hopeful future in heaven with Him one day, we can be confident that He will go all the way with us while we are alive on this earth! Our days are covered, richly covered, by His love and grace. In Christ, we will have our needs met. So, are you willing to surrender and trust? Are you compliant to how the Holy Spirit will lead you? Are you intentional in learning from Jesus? Will you be inclined to share your faith with others? Do you believe?

Are you willing to go all the way with Jesus, like He has with you? His call for you is no different than those early fishermen. We have an arch nemesis who is out to dispute Christ. One of his favorite tactics is that we only have to believe. Believe and go about your life doing good. God will bless you from above. Satan loves when people live halfway, give 99%, be partially invested.

It is scary to go all in. It would always be scary to jump off the dock into murky lake water. Still is. But when you have your Jesus jacket on, you will always arise back to the surface.

We are to follow Jesus’ call 100%. We are to go all the way. We are to believe AND follow. God’s love cannot demand anything less. His cost was too great! Jesus deserves our all. Nothing more, nothing less. Go ahead, jump in!

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