Fishing with the Right Tool Matthew 4:12-23

Fishing with the Right Tool Matthew 4:12-23

Fishing with the Right Tool                                                      Matthew 4:12-23

We learn from the book of Matthew this Sunday that four of the first disciples that Jesus calls to follow him are fishermen.  Why are they the first ones to be called?  Why does Jesus choose so many fishermen to be a part of his inner circle of students?  Is it because to be a good fisherman you need to be patient?  Is it because he knows that fishermen have good endurance?  Is it because fishermen are not afraid to go out into deep waters and Jesus knows his followers might have to go into some scary places?

Maybe it has to do with the fact fishermen know that in order to catch fish you cannot just sit on the shore.  You have to throw out your line or throw out your net, and if you really want to get a lot of fish, you probably need get into the boat and go out into the water where the fish are.  Jesus wanted disciples who would go with him to where the people were.  He wanted disciples who would not just sit back, but who would reach out and invite others to join him in his movement for the kingdom of God.

The tool used by the fisherman that Jesus called would have been a large net that they would cast out.  For most of us, however, a smaller rod and reel is what we are used to having when we go fishing.  Both tools are important when thinking about “fishing” for people.  At times, our invitation might be broad and cast out over many people.  During other times our invitation might be more personalized in a one on one situation like the line that is cast out from a fishing pole looking for a single catch. 

Does knowing when to use the right “fishing” approach in the right situation help our invitation to be more effective?  Is there a tool you are more comfortable with?  Are you more of a one on one person when it comes to connecting with people or do you like to be in a crowd reaching out to a group?  Are there ways we could challenge ourselves so that we might become skilled inviters using both the “net” and the “pole” approach when “fishing” for people?

-Pastor Erik Goehner