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“Come, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”[1] That is the primary reason Jesus called His disciples for – to follow Him so that they may be made into fishers of men. Notice that Jesus is the One who said, “I will make you…” He did not say, “I will make you holy or sanctified or even make you into a child of God or a son of God,” but “fishers of men.”

The holiness, the sanctification, the empowerment by the Holy Spirit, His words, and the baptism of fire, everything that is given to us through Jesus Christ is so that as His disciples, we are fishers of men. The gifts, the calling, the fruit, the word, and even the Holy Spirit, are given so that we may first do our work and finish our work as fishers of men.

Thus, even apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, all disciples, are being made and have been made fishers of men. Your sonship and daily worship has been given you so that you may be a fisher of men like Jesus is. The Holy Spirit’s powers, gifts and the fruits of the Spirit are all there to help you to be an expert fisher of men. Your testimony and ministry are all tools of the trade that help you to become effective, and more importantly, profitable fishers of men. That is why the first disciples whom Jesus called to Him are fishermen, men who understood and knew the business of fishing, of both its science and its art. Peter and Andrew, James and John, these two pairs of brothers were fishermen, with three of them being the ones who went up the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus. A third of His twelve were fishermen, and all of the three who saw His transfiguration were fishermen. Do you think the Lord was trying to show us something about fishing?

For those who are not at all familiar with fishing, here are a few basic rules. The object of fishing is to catch fish for pleasure or for food, and it requires equipment, which includes a net, a boat, rods, lines and bait. A successful fisherman knows the tides. He knows when to fish as well as where to fish, ensuring that he is there at the right time with the right bait to maximise his catch. Having acquired the equipment and the knowledge, he must then acquire the heart of a fisherman, who is one who is not afraid of hard work and danger, as well as being a patient person, one who knows when to wait and when to strike.

Thus, if you realise Jesus will make you into a fisher of men, then He will equip, educate and train you, that is, provide you with the means and tools, as well as the knowledge on fishing for men. Just how successful you will be also depends on you, on whether you are prepared to work hard, are not afraid of facing danger, and have the patience to wait for the right moment to strike.

As one of the parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus taught the disciples that “the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up to shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”[2] Notice that the fishermen of the Kingdom of Heaven are not men but angels, and the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net. It is passive, as a net is passive waiting for the fish to enter and get into it. It has no bait. A net can be let into the water and left there for hours, even days, before fishermen come and collect it to sort the catch out. On its own, a net has no power to attract or chase after fish.

So then, it is clear that we who are made fishers of men are not the fishermen of the Kingdom of Heaven, but the Kingdom of God. And the Kingdom of God is not like a net, but is a kingdom of power.

There are only a few parables that Jesus used to illustrate the Kingdom of God:

1. The Parable of the Sower – Mark 4:3-9; Luke 8:5-8

2. The Parable of the Growing Seed – Mark 4:26-29

3. The Parable of the Mustard Seed – Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-19

4. The Parable of the Yeast – Luke 13:20-21

Three of which are also parables for the Kingdom of Heaven. The only one not shared with the Kingdom of Heaven is the Parable of the Growing Seed. And this parable speaks of an innate power that, even if it is unattended, achieves its own goals. “Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.”[3] So, what is the seed of the Kingdom of God that is different from the seed of the Kingdom of Heaven? The seed that is similar in both kingdoms is the word. Jesus said, “But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.”[4]

Unless a man is of born water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God,[5] for it is the Spirit who gives power to the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of Heaven has no power, for the Spirit is not sent to the Kingdom of Heaven, but is sent forth to give disciples the power to be witnesses of Jesus.

Thus, the unseen seed of the Kingdom of God, the growing seed that once it has been sown by a man will yield the harvest, is the Spirit of God causing a growth that leads to a harvest without the knowledge of men. But then, we are not speaking of the knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of Man, but of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus Christ, the Man, came speaking the words the Father gave Him, the words of God, as John the Baptist said, “For the One whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.”[6] And into His disciples He baptises the Holy Spirit so that they may have power not only to be His witnesses, but also by that same power to declare Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, as well as to confirm that they are the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. For if you see the same family then certain genetic traits are invariably inherited. If your Father and Brother have miraculous power, then it is logical that you should have miraculous power as well, otherwise how do we know you are related?

Indeed, if God is your Father, then you are a god, and a god must have miraculous power otherwise he is not a god. So, the Kingdom of God, which is made up of those who have entered after they are born of water and the Spirit, are made up entirely of beings whose spirits are fathered by the Holy Spirit, and if they are fathered by the Holy Spirit, they are all children of God, some even growing up to be sons of God just like the Firstborn, and He is not ashamed to call them brothers.[7]

So what now if you are a son of God, even a god with miraculous power, unless you use your birthright to become a fisher of men by letting Jesus make you one, you have not fulfilled the reason Jesus told you to follow Him to be His disciples. A son who does not participate in the family business is not an obedient son. For the Father has commanded all disciples, that is, all who are called to be sons, to listen to the Firstborn, Jesus Christ, when He said from the cloud on the mountain, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”[8]

Thus, you may have the power to drive out demons and do miracles and prophesy in His Name, but if you do not use that birthright of yours to be a fisher of men, then you have misused the family’s wealth for your own selfish purpose. And He who is the beloved Son, well pleasing to the Father, will say to you, “Away from Me, you evildoer, I never knew you.”[9] For when He first called you to be His disciples to follow Him, He said clearly, “and I will make you fishers of men.”

So, didn’t you hear, didn’t you listen and consider carefully what it is to be a fisher of men and why Jesus will make you a fisher of men? Why men? Why not a fisher of fish or something else? Because, of all that God has made that has the breathe of life, man alone is in the image and likeness of God. For God said, “Let Us make man in Our Image, in Our Likeness…”[10] Thus, the expanded word of what Jesus was saying is this: “Come, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men, whom God has made in His Image and in His Likeness.” It means we are fishing, looking to catch, to bring in, to salvage the Image of God, which is also the Image of our Father. Therefore, if we are sons of God by being born of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Sonship, it is the image of our family. So then, it is a family affair, and it is a matter of family honour, not personal honour.

Jesus said to the Jews who believed Him, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I came from God and now am here. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent Him. I honour My Father and you dishonour Me.”[11] Jesus came to save the world that is filled with the glory of God, and to redeem the fallen image of God. For the sin of Adam had caused God to shed blood to cover up the nakedness of Adam, so then Jesus had to pay that blood debt to the lamb that was slain to cover Adam and Eve and to all the lambs of Israel that were slain to wash away the sins of God’s people. His first mission was to honour the Father by redeeming the image of God. And part of that redemption was so that men and women, through His finished work, would manifest on Earth that which God had in mind from the day He said, “Let there be light,”[12] what God’s family would be like, what His sons and daughters would be like.

Just as He, the Father, was honoured through Jesus’ obedience and glorified by His sacrifice, so now, to honour and glorify Jesus, the Spirit of God is seeking to raise up in men and women everywhere, sons and daughters for God who have the spirit of Jesus. This He will bring to full fruition with the millennial reign of Christ when the sons and daughters of God, who return with the Son of Man, Son of God, will reign on Earth for 1000 years. So that all creation is made manifest to the manifold wisdom of God in calling those He has chosen for discipleship by Jesus Christ. And the Holy Spirit will now glorify the Father by His election of sons and daughters who will prepare the way for the arrival of the rest of the brothers and sisters with Jesus.

Thus, when Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men,” He was hoping to make you into those who would fish for the image and likeness of God in men, so that God’s Image, the Father’s Likeness, might be restored for all to see. It is not for you to lord it over other men, condemn other men and enslave other men for your own pleasure, glory and reputation.

So then, you are not being made into a miracle worker or a preacher or an anointed minister, not even a god —but the final product that Jesus is looking for is a fisher of men. The false prophet will rise up as a highly anointed preacher and miracle worker, drawing men after himself, but he will perish as it was predetermined, because he never became a fisher of men that Jesus was seeking to make. See that you do not make yourself a fisher of men, but that Jesus makes you one. You only need to follow Him and listen to Him and practise the words He spoke with fullness of faith, for in that He will make you a fisher of men.

Yet, you and I do have to play our part, for if a fisherman was equipped with the best of all things, yet never went out to sea, he will never catch any fish. You and I still have to go and work at being fishers of men, that is why we must practise His word and attract the fish to us with the right bait and with the right equipment at the right time, all the while understanding that there is a net out there called the Kingdom of Heaven, that will also catch fish—men. A Kingdom that God also sowed His word and sons into. We do not ignore that kingdom, but even as we work to catch our assigned quota for the Kingdom of God, we also work to drive the rest of the fish into the net that is the Kingdom of Heaven. So then, we cooperate with the other fishermen, the angels, the other fishers of men.

When Peter and Andrew listened to Jesus, they caught such a large catch they signalled 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.[13] Likewise for us, the catch is so large we will need the help of the other fishermen, our partners, the angels.

So, what is the Kingdom of God like? It is like fishermen who are catching fish with their spears, and as their spears splash into the water, they frighten the rest of the fish into the waiting nets of their partners. It is the kingdom of power, power to catch men, for Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”[14] So, fear not, for from now on, we will catch men for God’s glory. Amen


 

[1] Matthew 4:19

[2] Matthew 13:47-50

[3] Mark 4:27

[4] Matthew 12:28

[5] John 3:5

[6] John 3:34

[7] Hebrews 2:11

[8] Matthew 17:5 (Mark 9:5; Luke 9:35)

[9] Matthew 7:23

[10] Genesis 1:26

[11] John 8:42; 5:23; 8:49

[12] Genesis 1:3

[13] Luke 5:6-7

[14] Matthew 5:10

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