Fishers of MenBro. David Chancellor
10/29/2006 11:00 AM
Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and the followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day; for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
Jesus had been baptized by John. The next day John said what was recorded here to these two disciples. These two went from being John’s disciples to being Jesus’ disciples. Andrew told his brother, "We’ve found the Messiah." Peter went to visit Jesus and Jesus told him he was a stone. He was a stone, but he wasn’t the Rock the church was built on. Once he got settled, he was rock solid and dependable. Even though he was a pillar in the church, he wasn’t unaffected by all he went through.
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
This gives a different account of how they came to know Jesus. This was when he called them to follow him. They may have met him before this time. Jesus told them he’d make them fishers of men. The disciples were given work to do. They didn’t always follow Jesus around everywhere. He sent them out to work for him. They were to carry his message. This is why the multitudes showed up when Jesus came to town. The disciples were to bring people to Christ. Peter was one of those that did the work. The disciples were an active part of the ministry of Christ.
There is still a need today for fishers of men. The gospel of Christ still needs to be carried to others.
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me. And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
They were getting ready to go to the garden of Gethsemane. Peter thought he was ready to face anything for Christ. Christ prayed for Peter so he could be a help to the others. The devil was after Peter. The solid and settled saints have battles to face, too. Jesus still prays for us that our faith won’t fail. Things will come against us, but God can help us to overcome.
Jesus had sent them out seemingly unprepared, but God had provided for their needs. He told them to go prepared now, and he told them to take a sword. We don’t carry the gospel with a sword, and threaten people to cause them to believe. Jesus wanted them to see that he would still take care of them. He wanted them to see that when it felt like their world was falling apart, he would still watch over them.
When your world crashes around you, hold onto God and keep being a fisher of men. God will still be there to bring you through.
After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately: and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
This was the third time Jesus appeared to them. Before he came, Peter told the others that he was going fishing. He went back to what he’d done before, because he was discouraged and disappointed. He went to work. Many people who are disappointed throw themselves into work. We don’t want to get so caught up in this life’s duties because of disappointments that we abandon what God has given us to do. Keep working for God even when disappointments come.
When Jesus came, he renewed his calling to Peter. The calling was a little different this time. The first time he called him to be a fisher of men. This time, he called him to feed the lambs and be one who would strengthen the brethren. Peter had an influence on the others. Jesus wanted him to influence them to be strong and do the work he’d given them to do. The gospel still needed to go out. Peter had to be refocused to the work that God had given him to do.
And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
This is Peter strengthening the lambs. He told them that what happened was what God intended to happen, and that there was still a work that needed to be done. There had been others who had been there besides the twelve. Peter wasn’t out fishing anymore. He was encouraging the others to the work. When the Spirit of God came, Peter got his message back, and he became a fisher of men again. He had come through the discouragement.
The temptation will come to get wrapped up in this life. Don’t. Draw close to God and get back into the work of God. As you come through discouragement, strengthen the brethren. Be a rock that others can lean on. Be there to encourage the brethren. We’re still called to be fishers. Sometimes we have to strengthen the brethren so we can be faithful as fishers of men. Keep your eyes on Jesus. The things of God are the things that will last.