As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
A Lofty Charge
The Bible makes it clear that there is a vital chain of events that leads to salvation for sinners. In order to call on the Lord and be saved, people must first believe in him. In order to believe in him, they must first hear about him. In order to hear about him, someone must preach to them. In order for someone to preach to them, that person must first be sent.
This brings us to today’s Bible passage, where Jesus calls Simon and Andrew to be links in the chain that connects sinners to Christ. But why does God use people—even simple fishermen!—to spread his Word? Why doesn’t God speak from heaven, or why doesn’t he send angels to do this important work?
Well, read the Bible and you will discover that when God spoke directly to the people, they begged him to stop. When angels delivered messages, the recipients were often terrified. Sinners cannot stand in the presence of God’s holy perfection.
So, God sends ordinary people like Simon and Andrew to spread his Word. God wants one sinner to tell another the greatest words ever spoken: “Jesus has done it all for you! Repent and believe the good news!”
Jesus has not called you to be an apostle; like these men. He may not have called you to be a pastor or teacher in his church. But every Christian gets to declare “the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).
What a lofty charge! What joy to know that the God in whose presence you cannot stand brings himself into your presence by his Word; that the God who called you, sought, and bought you forges you as a link in that vital chain of events that leads to salvation for sinners.
God of salvation, help me to speak your Word and fish for people. Amen.