The Prophet Speaks
“I Will Make You Fishers of Men”
By: Pastor Milton Coats
Matthew 4:18, 19 says “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”.
What did Jesus mean when He said to these two brothers who were fishermen; follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men?
The expression fishers of men was not new. The Greek and Roman philosophers had used it to describe the work of the men who seeks to catch others by teaching and persuasion. So, in the bible, fishers of men is one of many pictures of evangelism. Jesus was having these disciples to know if they followed him, He would train and develop them to evangelize souls for the kingdom of God.
At least four and possibly as many as seven of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen. Fishermen had great qualities that were truly beneficial in soul willing. Fishermen were busy people; they were courageous and patient people. They were also men of faith. These are all qualities and skills that would serve a soul winner well.
Jesus spoke to his disciples about fish at the beginning of His ministry and towards the end of His ministry in John’s gospel chapter 21, the fish subject came up again. Peter and six of Jesus’ disciples had fished all night and caught nothing. When morning was come, they spied a man on the shore whom they had not recognized as being Jesus. He asked them “children have ye any meat”? They said no. Jesus told them to cast the net on the right side of the ship and they would find. They obeyed the directive and enclosed a great multitude of fish. When they arrived on shore and counted the catch, there were 153 fish in the net. The number 153 is an important value in Hebrew thoughts. It means “For I am the Lord your God”. So, when the disciple saw they had removed 153 fish from the sea, they knew the one who had commanded and authorized them was the Lord. The phrase “For I am the Lord” appears many times in scripture. One of the most notable phrases is Isaiah 43:3; 5, 6. This is a prophecy of how in the end of days, God will gather all of his people from the ends of the earth, and bring them into their inheritance.
Saints, as we are entering this season, I sense there will be a strong evangelistic thrust. And the Lord is again saying follow me and I will make you fishers of men!