We were simple fisherman and one day, He came by and asked us to follow Him and this is what He said: ” Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” We had no clue what He meant by that statement. We followed Him and He began to teach us in parables, stories we could understand. They were about life, God’s kingdom and who He was; is. He focused on bringing the message to the people and giving them hope, healing, life, and forgiveness. We initially thought He was trying to prove He was the one sent by God the father to rescue man but then we understood that all this time, He had also been teaching us what he initially told us to follow him for. To become fishers of man. Yes, we are continuing with the book of Luke, but we have to borrow from the book of Matthew 4:19 to understand what Luke tells us on chapter 10:1-16
After we had followed the Master for a while, and He had shown us the work, He sent us to bring the Gospel to the Villages and we did great! We performed miracles that we thought only He could do, but He empowered us so that we could do the same. Then we got the idea that it was only for us! for the twelve, for Israel! for men who followed the Master. We thought we were special and unique and He showed us that in God’s kingdom, we all matter and have the common task of bringing The message of God’s kingdom to man. He says to all “follow me and I will make you fishers of men”
To teach us more about God’s Kingdom, He called seventy others and gave them the same instructions as He gave us. He sent them in pairs and instructed them to not carry anything extra for their journey as all they would need would be provided for them. He reminded them that it was not a safe journey but it was necessary and He himself was intending to go to each one of those places. Bringing eternal perspective was greater than loosing one’s earthly life. He also reminded them to stay focus and to not speak to anyone on the road, meaning having long conversations that would distract them from carrying the message. He wanted to make a point that the message is the most important part of His ministry and they were not to deviate from it.
They were encouraged to use their spiritual wisdom to recognize as they entered a house, those who were able to connect and join the promotion of God’s kingdom. As they did, the messenger’s peace given by the Master would rest on the homeowner and his family and blessings upon each other would be shared. They were not to be looking for the best accommodations, for they were to accept the provisions offered and be at peace and free of guilt. Knowing it was ok to be provided by others as they worked for the Kingdom, for this is how God provides for His children, through his children. Moving forward, The Master told them that there was a lot of work and not enough workers but that they had the choice to ask The Lord of the Harvest for more workers.
This was a repeat lesson for us to understand some key concepts. I think the Master wanted to reinforce what we had learned so far and to teach us what we had not learned yet. As the seventy were received, they were to show what The Master said the kingdom of God looks like. No sickness, no pain, no death, no evil and therefore no slavery!. Freedom! it is a gift! it is done and provided by the Father through Jesus! The offer was given to those that accepted it and not forced on anyone. For those who rejected the message and to help them think about the consequences, the Messengers were to shake the dust off their feet as a protest for their foolishness. As they would hear the news from other cities of all the healing, freedom, life and joy received, they would understand that this Great gift had been offered to them also and they had rejected it. The Kingdom of God had come near to them!
The Master showed sadness for those who had rejected the message. He said having so much proof and still ignoring it would be more punishable at judgement day than those who did not have it such as Tyre and Sydon. They were two Canaanite cities found in the old testament whose judgement was prophesied by Ezekiel in the book of Ezekiel chapter 28. Their sin for not walking with God was great and God promised their punishment through Ezekiel but those who have heard of Jesus and His payment for our sins and have rejected it, would have it worst. This is what The Master said. He also said that the seventy had been sent in His name as we had been sent also and whoever listened to them and us, listened to Him, and whoever rejected them and us, rejected Him.
So this is what fishing for men looks like! It is sharing the good news of the kingdom! The Master’s message of salvation for everyone! John 3:16-20 says: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
What is your take on this? If He sent the twelve and then the seventy and right before He ascended to heaven commanded us, as told by Matthew 28:19-20 to ” Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of age”. Don’t you think our job is the same? To that purpose we learn and dine with the Master so that we, following the freedom and life we now have after taking His free gift of salvation, can join Him in becoming His disciples and therefore fishers of man.