And he said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19 ESV)
This is one of those verses that we all know and can repeat at will. But did you know that this verse is the initial call for us to make disciples? It also defines what Jesus meant when He used the title “disciple”?
In this verse, Jesus is calling His first disciples to leave their lives of being fisherman to follow Him and discover what it means to live the life of freedom that only He can offer. He is also telling them that by following Him, He will show them how to lead others into this life of freedom that only He can offer.
Jesus’ ministry from the very beginning has been, and always will be, to draw as many people as possible into the freedom that not only comes from making Jesus our Savior, but primarily by making Him Lord of every area of our life. It’s easy to say Jesus is my Savior, saving me from my own sins and allowing me to live life with Him in eternity. It’s easy because when we accept Jesus as our Savior, it’s really still about us and our selfish desires. However, it’s a bit more difficult, to make Jesus The Lord of our lives because it’s no longer about us, it’s only about Him!
Giving Jesus Lordship over our lives means that we no longer place our selfish wants and needs (or so we think) over what Jesus desires for us all. Our view of the world and how we relate to it changes from a me-centered approach to an others-centered mentality. We begin caring about the things that God cares about…lost people! We develop a biblical worldview mindset!
So, from this verse, we can determine what being a disciple really is.
“Follow Me…” – this is a decision we must make with our minds. Will I or won’t I follow Jesus?
“and I will make you…” – when we make the decision to follow Jesus, He begins to transform us into something that reflects who He is…through His word and our hearts!
“fishers of men.” – we begin seeing His mission to save a lost a dying world as our mission. We take action and begin making disciples!
To become a disciple of Jesus always involves a head decision to follow, a heart decision to be transformed into His character, and an active decision to do something about it!