Crossroads: Fishers of People

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Matthew 4:18-23

Your Story

Talk about a time when God asked you to do something unexpected, or when you saw God at work in something that changed your life.

My Story and the Bible Story

Has anyone ever said to you, “Stop what you’re doing and follow me?” That’s not quite how I became a children’s minister, but it’s close. From the time I was a young teen, I knew that I wanted to be an accountant. I was good with numbers, and people who like numbers tend to be accountants. But my freshman year of college, my campus minister came to me saying he thought I would be a great children’s intern at a church in town. And pretty soon, I realized that God wanted me to be a children’s minister. My story isn’t as dramatic as the calling of Andrew and Peter, but God still changed my life.

Read Matthew 4:18-23. From the NIV: As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Peter, Andrew, James, and John left everything to follow Jesus. They left their nets, their boat, and in the case of James and John, they even left their father to follow Jesus. These men were fishermen. Every day they went to the lake to catch enough fish to feed their families and to sell so that they could live. These were not rich men. And yet, as soon as Jesus called, they left the only way they had to make money so that they could follow Jesus. They trusted that Jesus was important enough for them to leave everything. They believed in Jesus.

Most of the time, God isn’t going to ask you to leave everything behind and follow God like that. But even if God doesn’t ask us to leave everything, God can still change our lives. Maybe God is nudging you to do something right now. Maybe God is asking you to sit with the person who is all by themselves at lunch. Maybe God is asking you to be kind to someone who isn’t kind to others. Maybe God is asking you to give up something, or give something to someone who doesn’t have much. Jesus asked Peter, Andrew, James, and John to take a leap of faith. Taking a leap of faith means trusting in Jesus, trusting that Jesus knows the way and that God will give us what we need to follow God. Sometimes following Jesus is hard. Sometimes it makes us uncomfortable. Peter, Andrew, James, and John followed Jesus when God asked. And their lives completely changed. They were no longer fishermen; they became fishers of people. Instead of catching fish, they taught people about Jesus. They showed people how much God loves them and they “caught” believers. Their whole lives changed when Jesus showed up at that lake. And because they trusted Jesus, the good news of Jesus spread throughout the land and eventually throughout the world. We believe in Jesus because these men trusted Jesus enough to follow him. If you trust God enough to listen to God and do what God says, God can change your life. But it won’t just be your life that changes. If you follow God and do what God says, you may even change the lives of the people around you.

Discussion

• Talk about a time when you have said yes to something God was asking you to do. What happened?
• Talk about a time when God showed up unexpectedly (when God surprised you).

Prayer

Thank God for challenging us to follow God. Thank God for the faith of Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Ask God for courage to say yes to what God asks us to do.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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