Crossroads: Fishers of People

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Mark 1:14-20

Your Story

Tell your family about someone who told you about Jesus. How did they tell you? Were they happy, sad, or angry? Did they yell at you on a street corner, or did they sit with you and talk about what Jesus had done in their lives? Did they make you want to know Jesus better, or did they push your further away?

My Story and the Bible Story

Going fishing takes patience. You have to wait awhile (sometimes a very long while) before the fish start biting. First you put something on your hook that you hope the fish will want to eat. Then you plop that hook into the water and you wait. Sometimes you may move it around some, but you have to wait for the fish. I’m not good at the waiting part. I’ve never liked to fish because it seems like a waste of time to sit and wait. But my granddad loved to fish. He never minded the waiting. The waiting was a time to catch up, to read, to talk to one another. Or a time to simply sit and be. To spend time with God. To sit in quiet wonder.

Read Mark 1:14-20. From the NIV: After John was put in prison, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew 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. When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Simon (Peter) and Andrew were fishermen. They knew what it was like to sit and wait for the fish to come. Every day that’s what they did, until Jesus came along. And when Jesus invited them to follow him, to become fishers of men, they immediately left their nets and followed. As fishers of men, their job was different, yes. Instead of casting a net off the side of a boat, they were telling others about Jesus. They were there to witness Jesus’ miracles. But there were still times when they had to wait. They weren’t waiting for fish anymore, but people. They had to wait for the people to come, for the people to follow Jesus. They had to wait for transformation. It didn’t matter how many times they told people about Jesus; God still had to do the transforming. And in order for God to change the people, they had to want God to.

Like Simon and Andrew, we are fishers of people. We don’t walk around with fishing poles and hooks like regular fishermen do, though. Instead, we tell people about Jesus. And then we wait for God to touch their hearts and transform their lives. Our job is to tell others about Jesus. God’s job is to transform them. Sometimes people don’t want God to change them. Sometimes people are afraid of what God will do in their lives, or simply don’t want to change. In that case, we have told them about Jesus and then it’s up to them. But never forget that we are fishers of people, called to tell others about Jesus. And God is a God of transformation: God can change their lives in a way that we can’t. So be a fisher of people like Simon and Andrew: tell others about Jesus. And then wait for God to change their lives.

Prayer and Discussion

• How can we help others learn about Jesus?
• How has Jesus changed you?

Pray, asking God to help you be a fisher of people. Ask for help in sharing Jesus with others.

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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