When Jesus called Simon and Andrew to join His team, how did He phrase the invitation? He said, “Follow Me, and I’ll show you how to fish for people” (Matthew 4:19). He could have said, “Follow Me and I’ll show you how to fish for wealth,” or “Follow Me and I’ll show you how to fish for popularity.” Yes, He could have made these promises, but He didn’t. Instead, He said, “I’ll show you how to fish for people.”
No doubt about it – Jesus values people. In fact, His love us is so great that it compelled Him to leave His heavenly home, give up His rights as God, become a servant, and obey to the point of death on a cross.
Here are a couple of questions this verse brings to mind:
- Do I share Christ’s passion? Or do I too easily get caught up in my own pursuits – as legitimate as they may seem – bypassing people in the process?
- How can I ensure I maintain Christ’s focus on people?
Perhaps the secret of success for the latter question lies in Christ’s command: “Follow Me.” The closer my relationship is with Jesus, the more likely I am to value what He values. The more likely it is that I’ll share His heartbeat for what matters most. The more probable it is that I’ll be a conduit of His love for men and women within my sphere of influence.
It’s the John 1 “abiding in the vine” principle. As I abide in Christ, my life will produce much fruit. And that fruit is all about impacting people. It’s all about loving them, showing kindness and sympathy and empathy, being respectful and non-discriminatory. It’s about taking time to listen and to show interest and to care.
As I follow Jesus, He’ll make me more like Him. The automatic result is that people – not things, programs, or my own personal pursuits – will take priority in my life. For me, that means setting aside my writing pursuits to babysit my grandkids when my daughter-in-law needs a hand. It means shutting down my computer at suppertime to put my husband first. It means saying no to hobbies and extended holidays during this season of my life and instead, speaking and writing words of encouragement for those who need hope and healing. It means connecting with businesswomen in my city and letting them watch my life so their appetite is whet for Truth. It means training and leading short-term ministry teams to Eastern Europe every summer to share the love of Christ with those who have never experienced it.
Fishing for people isn’t always convenient. Sometimes it’s downright exhausting. Sometimes it hurts…a lot. But fishing for people is what Jesus called His disciples to do, and I’m one of His disciples so I’m goin’ fishing.
What does “fishing for people look like in real life for you?
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