Message Based Questions

Fishing for People: Matthew 4:18-22 | 2023-03-26

Message Recap:

Fishing for People: Matthew 4:18-22

Matthew 4:18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20At once they left their nets and followed him. 21Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

This passage speaks to the life and future of the church, MillCity Church and for each of us as a Follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus is recruiting His Ministry Team and gives us a glimpse of what our Assignment is: To be FISHERS OF MEN.

1. Who Fishes for People?

Matthew 28:18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This was a command to all of us, ‘to the very end of the age…’

Paul writes in II Corinthians5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.

James 5: 19My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

It was never Jesus plan to take the Message to the world by Himself, his plan was always to use people. God CHOOSES people.

I Peter 2: 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

What kind of people did He use? He starts with Peter and Andrew, and James and John. He didn’t go to the synagogue. He didn’t pick rabbis, or ‘leaders’ of Israel. He didn’t pick the brightest, most educated, most religious people to be on His Team.

We think that if only someone with great popularity or some well known celebrity or politician would come to know Christ, then they could really make an impact for the Kingdom. That isn’t what we see in the Bible. Look at Paul, and then what he wrote in I Corinthians 1: 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

As Christine Caine says, ‘God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the Called!’

You might think:
A. I don’t really understand Spiritual Things
Neither did the disciples! Mark 7: 17, John 16:16-18

B. I’m not really a People Person
Neither were the disciples! Matthew 14: 15-18 , Matthew 19:13-15

C. I really don’t care about other people
The disciples struggled with this as well- and we all struggle here with a lack of HUMILITY or too much PRIDE.
Luke 9: 46, Luke 22:24 , Matthew 20:20-22

D. I have a lot of Hurt and Unforgiveness
So did the disciples! Matthew 18:21-22

E. I‘m new to this Church Thing
So were the disciples! Matthew 26:36 – 46

Any deficiency we think we have, the disciples had them too. Jesus didn’t go get people that were all clean and without problems, he went out and picked regular people doing regular things, and in this case, rough people doing tough things—- AND He CALLED them into His Service.

How were they able to change the world?

Acts 4: 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them…13When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

They were Full of the Holy Spirit.

Note that Jesus has actually called them first in John 1:35-42. Why is that important?
Because for all of us, there is a PROGRESSION TO OUR CALL IN CHRIST . What we read here in Matthew is actually the 2nd Call!

A. Call to Salvation occurred first in John:
John 1: 35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.
40Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

B. Call to Serve occurred in Matthew:
Matthew 4: 18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20At once they left their nets and followed him. 21Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

C. Call to Commitment is found in Luke:
Luke 5: 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done so, they caught such a large number offish that their nets began to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

Jesus got in their boat and showed them His divine power. Peter recognizes this and repents (“Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”) which is critical to our Service to The Lord. With this display of Divine Power, Peter realizes that without Christ, he is nothing. Jesus says, ‘from now on… you will fish for people.’ Notice they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. That is a Call to a new level of Commitment, it’s a forsaking of their old life and committing to Christ in whatever He asks.

D. Call to Minister is found in Matthew 10: 1Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

2. What Does it Take To Fish for People?

3 Types (or Methods) of Fishing back in these times written about in Matthew:
1. Line Fishing – Rod and reel type.
2. Drag Net – This was used from a boat (typically 2 boats) and the net was cast into the sea with weights that would sink to the bottom. As the boats would row it would scoop up the fish.
3. Casting Net – This is what is used in this passage as you see in verse 18.They were casting a net into the lake.

Jesus said I will send you out to ‘fish for people…’ It’s a metaphor they would understand. And when they cast the net into the sea, they would pull in, they would catch a whole bunch of fish.

Jesus intended them, and US, to ‘fish for PEOPLE, not a single person.’ We should see results: Families changed, Marriages changed, HISTORY CHANGED!

From a Spiritual Perspective, we become not just Fishermen, but a LIFE BOAT. We should be a Lifesaving CREW, not a Club for Christians.

What does it take to be a Fisher of Men?

Qualities found in Fishermen that directly relate to our Call to Fish for People:
• Patience
• Perseverance
• Courage
• Strategic
• Camouflaged

Fishermen are Patient. Fishermen learn to wait. As we Fish for People we must learn to be PATIENT.

Fishermen Persevere. Fishermen keep going back. Even when they don’t catch anything! When we Fish for People, we have to PERSEVERE. And not just when FISHING, but throughout life. Because people are watching us, especially when things aren’t necessarily going our way. ‘We are to be THE non-anxious person in our domain…”

Fishermen have Courage. There’s a battle going on out there. And most bodies of water are good size, especially compared to the size of the boat. ‘Full of Courage.’ I’ll do whatever it takes to catch the fish. We need to have that kind of COURAGE as we Fish for People.

Fisherman are Strategic. They know where and when to go fishing. STRATEGY is essential to master when Fishing for People.

Fishermen know not to be seen. Or heard, right? SHHHH, you’ll spook the fish. Fishing for People isn’t about you, it’s about THEM and Him. We don’t go Fishing for People for our own sake, we do it because we are Called to (OBEDIENCE) and we do it for the Eternal Security for others.

3. How Did Jesus Fish for Men?

Studying Fishermen is helpful, but the truth is, Jesus is our Model.

A. He Was Available
Jesus was always available to people. He went where people were. He went where the people in need were. ‘It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, it’s the sick.’
Mark 2: 17On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

B. He Took Time
Jesus took time with people. While He was constantly moving around throughout His Ministry, He always took the time necessary to Minister to people.
Mark 9: 21Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

C. He Didn’t Show Favoritism
Whether it was a Tax Collector or a woman who had been abused or a Pharisee even the mother from the wrong country, Jesus would talk to, Minister to, anyone, no matter their past, their present, their gender or race. It didn’t matter what they had done or where they came from, Jesus was ready to Minister.

D. He Was Sensitive to The Spirit
Jesus knew when the time was right. Jesus knew when and where the Spirit was moving and we can too.
John 3:3,16-17 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again…. 16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

E. He Pursued a Commitment
Jesus didn’t let people go without making a decision. The woman with the issue of blood – ‘Who touched me?’ The woman at the well – ‘Go get your husband.’ The rich young ruler – ‘Go sell everything and follow me.’

Fishing for People means Salvation. Results in Ministry means Salvation. History Changed only comes thru Salvation. We do a great injustice (ETERNALLY) when we let people off the hook without making a commitment. And it will take courage and perseverance strategy, because Jesus said:

Matthew 7: 13“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

THAT is the call, the Command: Go make Disciples, Baptizing them (Commitment) and teaching them to obey everything.

So what’s the potential?

95% of all Christians have never led ANYONE to Christ.

We have a field that is waiting for us to plant and harvest the see of the Good News, the results aren’t up to us. We aren’t responsible for the results. We are responsible to OBEY. When Jesus got in the boat with Peter, He told Peter where to put the net. Peter did what Jesus asked, and Jesus brought the FISH!

Message Based Questions:

Question 1:

Do you like to fish? If you’ve never fished why not? Pastor Steve shared some attributes of a fisherman that might apply to being fishers of men. Do you agree that those attributes fit for being a fisher of men as well as of fish? Do you excel or “have opportunity to improve” in any of those areas?

Question 2:

If you were a fish, would it be a good thing or bad thing to land in any of these men’s nets? Why? Would it be a good thing or bad thing to land in their nets as they fished for men? Why? In what ways is a person caught in the net of a fisher of men the same as the fish caught in the net of a fisher of fish? In what ways is it different? What do you think the disciples thought Jesus meant by the phrase, “fishers of men?”

Question 3:

Jesus said he would make us fishers of men, how do we learn to be fishers of men? If sharing the gospel with people is how we fish for men, in order to go fishing we need a pond to fish in. Who do you believe is in your pond? What can you begin to do to reach your pond with the gospel?

Question 4:

When you preach the gospel and call others to follow Christ how do you present the call to them? What does it mean to “follow” Jesus? Where is He going? What is He doing? What is He saying? In what ways do you “follow” Jesus every day in your normal routine? How do you disciple others who ask what it means to “follow” Jesus? What is one practical next step you can take to make sure you are fishing for men?