From The Joshua Code by O.S. Hawkins
“Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
—Mark 1:17 nasb
Follow Me. Those were two words spoken so often by our Lord. He came upon a group of fishermen who were engrossed in their lifetime fishing business, looked them squarely in the eyes, and called them to put away their nets and follow Him on a life-transforming journey. In Capernaum, Jesus saw a Jew taking up tax money for the Roman oppressors. Again, He spoke those two simple words, and Matthew put down his money pouch and followed after Him. Over and over in the Gospels we hear this simple call. When we heed Jesus’ call today and become His followers, we then become interested in what He is interested in. Jesus revealed to us that He had “come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). The truth is, if we are genuinely following Jesus, we are also fishing.
It has always been of peculiar interest to me that, when it came time to pick His team, whom He would train and then send out with a commission to reach entire nations, Jesus picked rough, callous-handed men who had spent their lives in the fishing business. He did not go to the institutions of higher learning looking for the best and the brightest. He did not go to the halls of government looking for those with gifted persuasive powers. He did not go to the yeshivas and pick those most knowledgeable in the Torah. He went to Galilee, to a bunch of ragtag fishermen, and called them to follow Him with the promise that He would make them become “fishers of men.” Why them? Why fishermen?
My family and I lived on the Atlantic coast for fifteen years among many people whose livelihoods were related to fishing. On occasion I would take a seaplane from Fort Lauderdale to the little island of Bimini in search of the elusive bonefish of the Bimini flats, pound for pound the greatest sport fish anywhere. My guide was always the legendary “Bonefish Sam” Ellis. He was old even then, but he could still spot a dorsal fin from a football field away. We would fish all day under the blistering island sun. Once, while on my way home, flying back toward the sunset, I wrote down a few words in my journal to describe this seasoned legend of the flats. It dawned on me that what I saw in Bonefish Sam is what Jesus is looking for in His followers today. And these traits are at the very heart of why He called fishermen to follow Him.
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