In Matthew 4:19 (ESV), Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” He did not say, “Follow me, and on your own you will become fishers of men.” He did not say, “Follow me, and study hard to become fishers of men.” He did not say, “Follow me, and the church will make you fishers of men.”
What did He say? “I will make you.” Seems clear to me. The change comes from Him. The change comes from following Him. The change comes by spending time with, walking together, listening to, and observing the life of Jesus.
The more time you spend with Him, the more like Him you will become. Your thinking will change. Your attitudes will change. Your habits and life will change. You will reflect His love and agenda.
Did I say agenda? The verse even includes His agenda: “make you fishers of men.” Luke 19:10 (ESV) states, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” When we follow Him, we become like Him. Being similar to Him is not enough. Like Jesus, our lives and agendas have a purpose. And our goal is to seek and save the lost. Our goals is to carry out His Great Commission “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). The evidence of the change in our lives is in the fruit of our lives.
How do we get there? “Follow me” is the beginning. Spend time with Jesus. Read the Gospels. Pay attention to the red letters (what Jesus said). But also pay attention to what He did. His actions were as important as His words. Meet Him in Bible study. Enounter Jesus. Meditate on these things. Understand the context, meaning, and truth. Apply to your life. Live out of that encounter one thought, attitude, and action at a time.
Seek to walk the journey with someone. Jesus did. Invest in the discipleship of others (“make you fishers of men”). Jesus did. Ask someone to mentor, encourage, challenge, and disciple you–to make you a fisher of men. Be a disciple. Make disciples!
For more ideas about disciple-making, check out these blog posts: