Matthew 4:19 - Jesus Calls Us To Be Soul Winners.

Mat.4:19: Jesus Calls Us To Be Soul Winners.

Mat 4:19 (KJV)  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will 
make you fishers of men. 

Matthew 4:19 (NLT)  Jesus called out to them, "Come, follow me, 
and I will show you how to fish for people!"  

Matthew 4:19 (CWR)  He called to them, "Come! Follow me! I'll 
teach you how to catch men!" 

Matthew 4:19 (TLB)  Jesus called out, "Come along with me and I 
will show you how to fish for the souls of men!"  


Evangelism was at the heart of Jesus' call to his disciples. 

Christ's call to follow Him in discipleship is a call to 
evangelize other people. The call has only one proper response--immediate 
obedience. Discipleship always involves the call to witness. [Disciple SB] 

Jesus told Peter and Andrew to leave their fishing business and 
"fish for people's souls."  He meant that he could show them how to 
help others find God.  Jesus was calling them from their productive 
trades to be productive spiritually.  We all need to fish for souls.  
If we follow Christ's example and teachings and put them into 
practice, we will be able to draw those around us to Christ like a 
fisherman who pulls fish into his boat with nets.  [Life Application SB] 

Heretofore at least three of the four--Peter, Andrew, and 
John--had intermittently accompanied Jesus. The call they had received at 
the Jordan two autumns before was a call to recognize Jesus as the 
Messiah, the Lamb of God, who had come to take away the sin of the world 
(see on John 1:35-50). Now they were called to unite their life and 
fortune with His, not only as believers but as learners and workers. 
Prior to this none of the group had fully and permanently united with 
Jesus (DA 246). They had been part-time disciples, their interests 
divided between this life and the higher life. Henceforth their time and 
talents were to be devoted to full-time service. The four followed 
Jesus, not because they were too lazy to work with their hands for a 
living, or because their physical labors had not been successful, but 
because of their profound convictions. Like the others whom Christ 
called, they were active in their chosen occupation until summoned to 
forsake all and follow Him. 
None of the four would have been considered by the learned men 
of the nation as having sufficient qualifications to become a 
teacher. They were humble and unlearned, but these very traits were 
pre-requisite to discipleship. The fact that they were not educated in the 
false views of the rabbis made it easier for them to learn the lessons 
necessary to make them skilled workmen in building the kingdom of heaven 
(see on Mark 3:15). Though at times they were slow to learn the 
lessons Jesus sought to teach them, they were sincerely devoted to Him. 
His love gradually transformed their hearts and minds, in proportion 
to the extent they individually yielded to Him. When they came 
forth from the period of training they were no longer uncultured and 
unlearned, but men of penetrating discernment and sound judgment. They were 
so much like Jesus, in fact, that others realized they had been 
with Him (see Acts 4:13). [SDA Commentary re Luk.5:11] 


In Isaiah 6:8 God did not direct His call to Isaiah -- Isaiah 
overheard God saying, "who will go for Us?" The call of God is not just 
for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God's call or not 
depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends 
upon my spiritual attitude. "Many are called, but few are chosen" 
(Matthew 22:14). That is, few prove that they are the chosen ones. The 
chosen ones are those who have come into a relationship with God 
through Jesus Christ and have had their spiritual condition changed and 
their ears opened. Then they hear "the voice of the Lord" continually 
asking, "who will go for Us?" However, God doesn't single out someone 
and say, "Now, you go." He did not force His will on Isaiah. Isaiah 
was in the presence of God, and he overheard the call. His response, 
performed in complete freedom, could only be to say, "Here am I! Send me." 
Remove the thought from your mind of expecting God to come to 
force you or to plead with you. When our Lord called His disciples, He 
did it without irresistible pressure from the outside. The quiet, 
yet passionate, insistence of His "Follow Me" was spoken to men 
whose every sense was receptive (Matthew 4:19). If we will allow the 
Holy Spirit to bring us face to face with God, we too will hear what 
Isaiah heard--"the voice of the Lord." In perfect freedom we too will 
say, "Here am I! Send me." [My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald 

Usefulness in the cause of God does not depend so much upon 
brilliant intellect as upon devotion to Christ and to the task at hand.... 
The all-important thing in service for God is that self be put aside 
and room be made for the working of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. 
[SDA Commentary re Luk.5:11] 

Today, in principle, the call of the Lord Jesus has not changed. 
 He still says 'Follow me', and adds, 'whoever of you does not 
renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple'.  In practice, however, 
this does not mean for the majority of Christians a physical 
departure from their home or their job.  It implies rather an inner 
surrender of both, and a refusal to allow either family or ambition to 
occupy the first place in our lives. 
First, there must be a renunciation of sin.  This, in a word, is 
repentance.  It is the first part of Christian conversion. It can in no 
circumstances be bypassed.  Repentance and faith belong together.  We cannot 
follow Christ without forsaking sin..... 
Second, there must be a renunciation of self.  In order to 
follow Christ we must not only forsake isolated sins, but renounce the 
very principle of self-will which lies at the root of every act of 
sin.  To follow Christ is to surrender to him the rights over our own 
lives.  It is to abdicate the throne of our heart and do homage to him 
as our King.... 
The full, inexorable demand of Jesus Christ is now laid bard.  
He does not call us to a sloppy half-heartedness, but to a 
vigorous, absolute commitment.  He calls us to make him our Lord.  [John 
Stott; Time with God devotional SB] 

Noah obeyed God by building a boat long before rain had ever 
fallen; he obeyed God when he stayed in the boat; he obeyed God when he 
got off the boat and built an altar. His radical obedience saved his 
life and the lives of his family members. 
Several hundred years later, fishermen standing beside the Sea 
of Galilee also acted with radical obedience. Jesus called them to 
follow him, and they did. For all of them, this was the change of a 
lifetime. They would never go back. Their radical obedi ence would change 
the world. 
* Obedience is a threatening word in today's culture, but it 
need not be that way. Obeying God means that your life is constantly 
changing for the better. You seek to do what you know God would want you 
to do. You still have freedom to make choices, and at times you 
will make the wrong choice - everybody does! But as you get to know 
God and his Word better, you'll learn how to live in a way that 
pleases him. The more you obey him, the more you'll find that doing so 
brings deep, long-lasting fulfillment and joy. [The One Year Bible for 
New Believers] 


Everyone must decide whether to follow Christ or make bargains 
with the devil (vv. 8-10). What is your decision? [Chapter by Chapter 
Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe]