Wade E Taylor
"Now as He walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw
Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into
the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said
unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you
to become fishers of men. And straightway they
forsook their nets, and followed him" Mark 1:16-18.
The “net” is whatever we may use to draw to ourselves
the fulfillment and satisfaction that we seek.
Simon and Andrew were casting their net to catch fish. When
Jesus came, He used words that they could easily understand.
He told them that if they would follow Him, He would make
them a “fisher” of men.
Notice that Jesus did not say He would show them “how”
to fish for men. Rather, He said that He would make them to
“become” fishers. The emphasis was not on methodology,
but rather on the Lord’s desire to draw them to Himself,
in order to change them.
“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests,
and we shall reign on the earth.” Rev 5:10.
The emphasis is on our being made ready to reign, not on
the fact of reigning.
Many place great emphasis on the program (net) that is used
to accomplish a certain purpose, rather than seeking to develop
the ability to rightly use the program. We cannot give what
we do not have. Therefore, it is very important that we spend
quality time in the presence of the Lord and develop a strong
spiritual relationship with Him.
Only then will we “have” in order to “give.”
"But ye shall receive power, after that the
Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall
be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and
in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:8 KJV.
The word "witnesses" can be translated "sample."
For example, I once asked the salesperson in a large carpet
store if I could have a sample of a huge roll of fifteen foot
wide carpet. He cut out a piece and handed it to me.
Because he had cut a piece from the end of this carpet, the
entire fifteen foot area was lost. But I had asked for a sample.
Therefore, he gave me a piece of the real thing, which was
costly to him, rather than something that was similar.
Here, the Lord is placing the emphasis on our becoming a
“sample” of Himself, developed through an ongoing
personal relationship with Him. Often, the emphasis has tended
toward two extremes, either “asceticism” or “activity.”
In the early church, there were those who became known as
"Desert Fathers." They considered the world to be
so wicked that they went out into the desert and lived in
caves so they could be separated, and as a result become “spiritual.”
But Jesus said that we were not to hide our light under a
bushel. We are to be in the world, but the world is not to
be in us. Rather, our light is to shine before men. We are
to become a “witness” of the life and ministry
of Jesus by becoming a “sample” of Him, a piece
of the real thing in the place of need.
The president of a Bible school had a reputation for being
a very spiritual man. A student decided he would find out
if this was true. He went to the president’s office
and began fumbling with a bottle of ink and then “accidentally”
spilled some on the president’s suit.
The president began to get agitated, as he had cautioned
him to be careful with the ink. But he gained his composure,
smiled and said it was alright. Soon, the ink disappeared,
as it was made to do this and was harmless. The student then
told him he was just checking to see if he were as spiritual
as others said, and left satisfied.
In our becoming a sample, or a “demonstration”
of the presence and power of the Lord, there will be many
occasions in which it will be easy to be otherwise. Jesus
said, "I will make you to become." This is a processing
of the Lord to prepare us to rightly respond in these situations.
Thus, those who are to rule are presently being prepared for
As we allow the cross to become effective in our lives, and
we die to our feelings and reactions, and allow Jesus be seen
through our lives, we will indeed begin to catch “fish.”
The other extreme is “doing.” To many, the Baptism
in the Holy Spirit is considered to be “power for service.”
These place the emphasis on going out to do witnessing, which
may result in running without the message.
Peter probably heard the word “fishing” and did
not realize all that he was about to experience in being “processed”
to become the witness that the Lord intended him to be.
When Peter told the Lord that he would die for Him, Jesus
responded that instead he would deny Him. Peter reacted, but
soon learned differently. We tend to promise the Lord many
things, which we are incapable of doing. But the Lord has
provided a way for us to go beyond these cycles of failure
- “follow Me and I will make you to become.”
As we allow the Lord to do a deep work within our lives in
cleansing and purifying our motives, we are changed, as the
“power” renovates and recreates our lives to reflect
His life. Only then there will be nothing in us to react.
It has been said that no one can “get our goat”
unless we have one. As a child, I remember how kids would
tease and pick on certain other children. Later I came to
understand that these were being picked on because they reacted.
The greater the reaction, the more they were picked on, as
other kids enjoyed the reaction.
The enemy of our spiritual life also does this. When we react
to dealings or problems, and put on a show, the enemy gathers
to enjoy our reaction. But if we have our feet on the Rock,
and understand that we are being processed, the enemy will
be defeated and will leave, as there will be no reaction to
enjoy. Jesus said, “for the ruler of this world is coming,
and he has nothing in Me.” John 14:30b.
In effect, Acts 1:8 reads, “You will receive power
... to become.” The desire of the Lord is to so change
us that only His life will be seen. Therefore, all we need
do is to say, "Lord, I am available and willing to receive.”
Only then will we become the “message” that people
will respond to; our lives so changed by the power of God,
that His presence and blessings are evident.