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!"
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
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
* 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
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]