Go Fish

Go Fish

We’re starting a new message series this morning entitled, “Go Fish.”  We’ll be learning more about evangelism and how we can have supernatural encounters through our everyday natural routines.  Evangelism is all about spreading the good news about Jesus.

Our faith journey begins with a conscience decision to follow Jesus. 

At some point in our lives, we became aware of the fact that God wrapped Himself in flesh as a man named Jesus who taught all about the Kingdom of God, lived a sinless life, gave His life on a cross as a sacrifice for our own personal sin, and then rose again from the grave.  At some point, we became aware that the only way for us to be forgiven of our sin and to enter Heaven is to put our faith in Jesus and follow Him with our lives.

More often than not, it was a family member or friend who shared this good news with us of how to be saved.  Maybe it was reading a tract or a book or the Bible itself.  Maybe it was listening to the radio or catching a TV program or attending a church service.

Regardless of how we became aware of how to be saved, at some point, we made the conscience decision to receive Jesus’ salvation and chose to follow Him.

What’s one of the first things that we naturally want to do when we receive good news?

We want to share it with others!

As soon as Jesus began His public ministry, He gathered twelve guys to be a part of it.  The first two were Peter and Andrew.  This account is included in all four gospels.

Matthew 4:17-20 (MSG)

This Isaiah-prophesied revelation came to life in Galilee the moment Jesus started preaching. He picked up where John left off: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.”

Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.

With just two simple words, “Follow me,” Jesus transformed Andrew and Peter from fishermen to fishers of men.

In these few simple verses, lives were radically transformed!  The trajectory of Andrew and Peter’s lives and their family business came to a crossroads.  A decision had to be made.  It was the intersection of:

Jesus’ words/Andrew and Peter’s obedience

God’s beckoning/Their surrendering

Regular work/Spiritual co-laboring

Normal routine/Supernatural encounter

How many times have we been busy about our regular work and daily routines and missed something huge that Jesus had planned for us in the midst of it?  Andrew and Peter could have just ignored the voice of Jesus and kept on cleaning their nets.  Simon aka Peter hadn’t been exactly having the best days at this time.

Luke gives us a few more details including the fact that this may not have been Simon Peter’s first encounter with Jesus.  I say maybe because according to Matthew, this happened after Peter was called to follow Jesus and not before.  Luke records it this way, though.

Luke 4:38-44

38 Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.

40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.

42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

It is important for us to remain always sensitive to the lead of the Holy Spirit and in discussion with God throughout our day.  However, Jesus also reveals to us that it is just as important to intentionally take time alone and away from the business. 

In that quiet place alone, He was reminded that though there was much work to do in Capernaum, in His hometown of Galilee, He was not to stay there, but to share the good news about God’s Kingdom and to do the work of God’s Kingdom in other towns as well.

Not only was Peter dealing with a sick mother-in-law at home, but when Jesus asked Simon Peter to follow Him, it was right at the end of a really, really bad day at work.

Luke 5:1-11

1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

This is such a critical key to living a life of faith!  We can be honest about the facts.  Again, we can be honest about the facts. BUT, the facts are never an excuse for disobedience!  Living a life of faith is a life that says, “This is difficult, this makes no sense, this is impossible, BUT BECAUSE YOU SAY SO, I WILL!”  Radical obedience is the result of a radical trust revealing our radical faith in a radical God and is the only way for miraculous results!

6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

Going fishing is about more than just telling people about Jesus.  We aren’t called to be talkers about Jesus, we’re called to be witnesses of Jesus!

Standing by the stream and calling, “Here fishy, fishy, fishy!”  might get you a good fish story, but not much else.  Standing by the stream with your line rigged up in and in the water is far more likely to get you a catch to brag about for years!  Maybe even one to hang on the wall!

Acts 1:3-8

3 After his suffering, Jesus presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Being baptized in the Holy Spirit provides us POWER to be WITNESSES to the ends of the earth.  This is what evangelism is all about.  Crowds of thousands didn’t gather around Jesus because of His impressively worded sermons.  What was impressive about His teachings was that they held AUTHORITY!

Crowds gathered with the sick, diseased, blind, deaf, leprous not to hear a good word, but to be healed.  They came to experience the power of God.  The good news that spread about Jesus was that He healed the sick and cast out demons.  This is the difference between the Kingdom of God and the rest of the world and all of its various religions; the power and authority of God!

1 Corinthians 4:20


For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.


For the kingdom realm of God comes with power, not simply impressive words.


the kingdom of God is present not in talk but in power.


For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

The power of God hasn’t changed throughout the ages.  Our expectation for it and trust in it, unfortunately, has changed.

When Jesus told Andrew and Peter that He was going to make them fishers of men, He didn’t take them into the synagogue or temple to teach them a 40 point course on seeking and saving the lost.

Matthew 10:1-8

1 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

Yes, they went into the temple and synagogues together.  Yes, they taught and also sat at the feet of teachers.  However, the bulk of the ministry of Jesus and the early church happened out in the community.  They ate and drank and lived primarily among people who were not even welcome to enter the courts of the temple.

In fact, after the baptism of the Holy Spirit was made available to all believers, persecution drove believers out from Jerusalem to Judea and Samarea and to the ends of the earth!  Wherever followers of Jesus went, they lead even more people to follow Him. 

We call this discipleship.  Discipleship was not a school class, it was life lived together.  First Jesus and the twelve, then the seventy-two, then the one-hundred-and-twenty, then the three thousand, and on and on.  Discipleship is gathering together, growing together, then going out and reaching the lost together.  Gather, grow, go!

Jesus didn’t give the twelve disciples an education, He gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.  He told them to go out and to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, and to drive out demons.  Jesus said freely you have received; freely give!

Sure, He told us to make disciples by teaching people, but He specified that we are to teach them to simply obey His command.  To teach others to follow Him and His lead through the Holy Spirit within.  He is with you and for you.  You aren’t where you are accidentally.  You are right where you need to be on purpose and for a purpose!

I’m sure that Joseph didn’t feel that way going from pit to slave to prisoner, but he was being moved toward the palace each step of the way.  I’m sure that David didn’t feel that way while watching sheep or running for his life, but he was being prepared to be king.  I’m sure that the early church didn’t feel that way when their property was confiscated and their lives threatened just because of their faith, but they were being moved along on purpose!

Wherever we are at in life, it is for a reason.  Whether by our own poor decisions or by God’s diving hand, we are to learn and grow and go fish no matter what! 

Wherever we are, there are lost people around us that Jesus gave His life to save.  Wherever we are, there are people who have not heard or not understood the gospel.  Wherever we are, there are people in need of the power of God to bring healing, deliverance, and the fullness of Jesus’ salvation.

Allow Jesus to open your eyes to see them the way that He does.  Allow Jesus to open your ears to hear them the way that He does.  Allow Jesus to transform your heart to have the same love and empathy and compassion for them as He does.

THEN, motivated by His perfect love, allow His power to flow through you and be His witness to them.  Release the fullness of the good news of His salvation to become a reality for you and those around you!

How do we practically do this?  Well, that and much more is coming in the weeks ahead as we learn to GO FISH!