Matthew 4:18 – Now Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. (Verse 19) And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Verse 20) Then they immediately left their nets and followed Him. (Verse 21) And going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother , in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. And He called them, (Verse 22) and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
These men were commercial fishermen, not pleasure fishing. They had a business that supplied their livelihood. Did you notice how quickly they left their nets to follow Jesus? We see from that Scripture, that there were four of them who were fishermen, but there very well could have been seven. Look at John 21:2 – Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other of His disciples were together. (Verse 3) Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.
In other words: Peter said, “I’m going back to what I was doing before I followed the Lord.” The rest of them said they were too. I’ts possible that there were seven out of the twelve that were fishermen. There had to be a reason that Jesus picked over half of His 12 disciples to follow Him, that were fishermen. Maybe it was because they knew the concept of catching fish and could use these skills to catch men. There are certain things a fisherman has to do in order to be good at his job and one of them is to:
Put Bait On Your Hook
We too need bait on our hook if we are going to catch people for the kingdom of God. So, what is bait? Bait is any story about God’s goodness! Psalm 34:8 – Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Everyone can taste God’s goodness. We don’t just describe Him to people, we tell how good He has been to us.
God has put the desire to know Him in every person born. Romans 12:3 – …God has dealt to each one the measure of faith. Notice that, it doesn’t say “a” measure of faith, because that would mean every one’s measure would be different in size. It says “the” measure of faith, because He puts the same in everyone.
Telling someone your testimony of how you got saved and what you were like before, is a sure way of letting people know that what God did for you He can do for them. Your testimony is your “Bait.” After you bait your hook, the next step is to:
Put Your Hook in the Water
Having bait on a hook will do no good to catch fish unless you put the hook in the water. We have to learn to tell people our story of what Christ has done in our lives. Some will be open to it and some won’t. But just like fishing, if you aren’t getting any bites in one spot, move to another. Find something similar in the person’s life that you are giving your testimony to. Maybe they are going through something that you have already been through and your story can help them. Or maybe you are talking to a drug addict and you used to be one and Jesus save your life. Whatever it is that you can find that you have in common with that person, relate to it. Our story is the clearest way to get someone interested in God and discover there is a better life.
Fish Where There Are Fish
You can’t catch fish in a “swimming pool.” If you only tell your story within the four walls of the church you attend, you will never catch any fish, people. However, it is alright to tell your testimony to other believers because it will encourage them to know how far you have come. But, if you never tell the people you work with or people you might run into in different places, you will never know what it’s like to get people excited about Jesus.
When Jesus told these disciples to follow Him and they did so immediately, why do you think the Holy Spirit prompted the men who wrote this to say, “Immediately?” Because there was an urgency. We, as Christians, need to feel an urgency of winning people to Christ. Too many believers get settled and satisfied in their walk and don’t ever tell their testimony. They’re saved and that is all that concerns them. God didn’t save us to just sit on a church pew year after year and never be a light in anyone’s life. He saved us for His kingdom and that kingdom will not grow unless we, His children, bait the hook, put it in the water, and go where the fish are.