How many of you have ever been deep sea fishing? I was shocked to learn that more than 2.4 million people participated in this sport last year, resulting in retail sales of almost $2.4 billion dollars and a total economic impact of almost $4.5 billion dollars. Deep sea fishing provides jobs for nearly 55 thousand people.
You may be asking what does deep sea fishing have to do with the church? Deep sea fishing is a picture of the deep soul fishing we are to be about as a church. I asked myself this question, “If Jesus was here today, what would He see and what would He say?” I believe He wouldn’t see a building. I believe He would see a boat. In this crowd, He would see two types of people–fishermen and fish. Let me let you in on a little secret, you are one or the other.
I have no reason to doubt that the very first thing He would say to us would be the very first words He spoke to the very first people who became His disciples. “As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen and Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.'” Mark 1:16-17. That one statement tells us what our primary business is, both as a church corporately and as followers of Jesus individually.
It never ceases to amaze me that the first two words Jesus ever said to those who would become His followers were “Follow Me”. There are two amazing things about those words. What He said and why He said it. Think about it. When He said those two words, He was talking to complete strangers. He gave them no formal introduction. He presented no credentials, no proof of id, no drivers license and no social security number. He just simply said, “Follow Me.” Can you imagine what immediately went through their minds, “Follow you?” I don’t even know you.”
Look at their response, “Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” Mark 1:18. They were gone in sixty seconds! In the blink of an eye, with a snap of a finger (just like that), gone, left home, business, friends and family and began to follow Jesus. If you want to know what a true Christian is–there you have it. A Christian is a follower of Jesus. That is where the Christian life begins and ends–following Jesus in life and following Jesus through death.
The lesson to be learned here is to follow is to fish or to put it even more simply–“Followers Fish”.