Have you been as discouraged as I, after attending an evangelism class? These classes have promised to be helpful. They give Scripture as well as methods and how to use them. Then a few days later you put what you have learned into practice but nothing happens. Why can’t we lead someone to Christ? We may have to take another look at the words of Jesus.
Jesus told the disciplines to follow him and he would make them fishers of men. Three aspects are in this statement. First Jesus tells us that we are to follow him, then he will make us a soul winner. Finally we will be soul winners. There are times when it would help for scripture to expand on what is said. What is Jesus telling us and how are we to put this into action?
At the time of Jesus, it was customary for a Rabbi to gather a group of students around him. The students would be taught by this rabbi in all aspects of the Jewish faith. At the conclusion they would hold the office of a priest, and the rabbi would gather another class. Jesus called the twelve to be his students knowing that this will be his only group of students. These students came from many different walks of life. He called them from the working class (fishermen), known sinners (tax collector), and professionals, (doctor). The twelve that he chose would have been a representation of each class of people. After these students were filled with his spirit, they became the person of Jesus collectively. Individually they would only be a part of him but together they were his body. Each one portraed Jesus by his own personnality.
From the calling of the twelve Jesus starts to teach them to be fishers of men. He first builds a relationship with them by allowing them to go where he goes. As Jesus builds his ministry he teaches his students as well as others the basics of God’s word. As time goes on we start to see Jesus taking the students aside for more in depth instructions. Close to the end of his earthly ministry Jesus gives his students the power to preach, heal, and over Satan and instructs them to go preach God’s word in the area. Now he withdraws from the public for the last and most intense teachings. Among his last lessons is the instruction to wait until they receive power from on high. This power is the spirit of God.
The students did not go out and lead anyone to Christ, rather they feared for their lives and hid. As much as they could they stayed behind a locked door. It was a while before the Spirit of God filled them. The night the Spirit of God made a noise that drew the people from town to them. Then they did not speak for themselves but as God gave them words and many came to salvation.
2000 years later Jesus still has this command for us; follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Our directions are clear but not always how to put the instruction into practice. A few years after Jesus gave this instruction, the apostle said (1 Corinthians 3:5-7) that some planted the seed, some watered the seed, and God gave the increase. What is God calling you to do? Does he want you to plant the seed, or water the seed? Maybe you might plant the seed for one person and water it for another. Maybe you will just be able to do it for your own family. What ever your roll is God will give the increase and we will be fishers of men.
God Bless you as you imitate Jesus.