Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is our Lord’s command to take the gospel to every person throughout the world and to make disciples in all nations. If the Great Commission is to be fulfilled in our generation, now is the time for action. We must begin now and dedicate ourselves daily – as a way of life — to communicate God’s love and forgiveness to everyone we meet. From the time we awaken in the morning until we go to bed at night, our number one priority should be sharing “the most joyful news ever announced.”
The Lord impressed this truth in my heart several years ago. I was on vacation in St. Augustine, Florida for a week of rest and relaxation with my wife. When I visit the beach, I especially enjoy walking out on the pier and watching the fisherman. While I was enjoying my time at the end of the pier (photo above), I noticed one fisherman. He kept leaving his pole to get a drink and visit with some of his friends. I was even watching his fishing pole and I saw it move. Another fisherman saw it and he yelled to him that he had a bite on his line and to come get it. When he finally arrived the fish was gone. That happened not once, not twice, but three times. After the third time, an old timer yelled out to him, “Sonny, if the fish are biting, don’t leave your pole!” Right after he said that, the Lord impressed upon me the truth of that statement with a spiritual dimension. He said, “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost, don’t leave them alone when they need to respond to Me.” Jesus reminded me that to be a good fisherman (Matthew 4:19), I needed to stay with my pole-and make sure I am available to the people who are lost (19:10; Acts 8:29-39; 1 Peter 3:15).
Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) To follow Jesus and become a fisher of men, we need to do what Jesus did. He spent time with those who were lost and needed a Savior. We cannot catch any fish by casting our fishing poles on the ground and we cannot win the lost from our comfortable church pew. To become a fisher of men we need to find some good fishing holes where the fish are located. I asked a fisherman what was the one main key to catching fish-I will always remember what he said, “To find a favorite fishing hole.” He told me the obvious, “Make sure to fish in water that actually has fish in it. If there aren’t any fish, you aren’t going to catch anything.”
Jesus did spend time in the synagogues but He was also known to be a friend of sinners. Luke 15:1-7says, “Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
To become a fisher of men, we must leave the church and go where the fish are located. I have three favorite fishing holes-a local Starbucks , the local Community Correctional facility that receives returning offenders and my neighborhood. I spend time at each watering hole to listen, share, teach and meet physical/spiritual needs. Do you have a favorite fishing hole where you can spend time with those who do not know Jesus and lovingly share the gospel of Christ? Jesus told us in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) to “Therefore go and make disciples.” To make disciples we must “GO!”
Where is your favorite fishing hole to go fishing? Discuss this question with your small group!