Michele and I were out of town on Sunday so we missed seeing you. Thanks to
Bob for leading ICF. Here is my summary of the Bible study.
Fishing (Matthew 4:12-25)
being tested in the wilderness (4:1-11), Jesus began his public ministry.
a Home Base (4:12-17)
the first century, Jerusalem and Judea were considered to be the center of Jewish
society. Jews generally looked down on Galilee. This is one of the reasons Jews
had difficulty accepting Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. Jesus
hometown was Nazareth in Galilee.
Jesus established his home base for ministry, he chose the town of Capernaum in
Galilee. Capernaum, located along the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, was
largely dependent on the fishing industry. Thus it makes sense that Jesus
first disciples were fishermen.
in Judea questioned Jesus qualifications because he was from Galilee (John
7:41-42). But Matthew, quoting from Isaiah 9:1-2, says Jesus location in
Galilee was a fulfillment of prophecy (Matthew 4:13-15). So it was appropriate
that Jesus home base was in Galilee!
Jesus began his public ministry, he preached, Repent, for the kingdom of
heaven has come near (4:17). To repent is to turn away from
attitudes and behaviors opposed to Gods authority and moral will, and turn
toward God in faith and obedience. The kingdom has come near because
the King (Jesus) has come.
mentioned above, Jesus first disciples were fishermen. These men included
Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John. While they were engaged in their fishing
activities, Jesus approached them and said, Come follow me, and I will make
you fishers of people (4:19).
and Andrew at once
left their nets and followed him (4:20).
Likewise, James and John immediately
left the boat and their father
and followed him (4:22). When Jesus called them, they responded without
delay. They left their normal work and families, and followed Jesus. Peter later
told Jesus, We have left everything to follow you (19:27).
The four fishermens
response to Jesus call is a good example for us today. Of course, their
place in history is unique. They literally followed Jesus! While their example
applies to us today, it does not mean every follower of Jesus is called to leave
their job and family and become a full-time minister! However, every
believer is called to relinquish (give up) control of everything to God. Every
believer should put God first, and be willing to give up what God clearly directs.
these fishers of fish, I will make you fishers of people (4:19). This
is a figure of speech. These fishermen would not be catching people for eating!
They would be catching people for a much better situation.
years ago, we had two goldfish at our home. We kept them in a shallow pond in
our yard during the summer. However, if we left them there during the winter,
they would freeze to death. So as winter approached, I would catch them, and put
them in our indoor aquarium. By catching them, I saved them from dying. I caught
them for a much better situation.
Christ, the Fisher of people, called these men to join him in his work
catching people for the kingdom of heaven.
the Net (4:23-25)
23-25 provide a summary of Jesus public ministry in Galilee. His ministry
attracted many people. News about him spread throughout Galilee and beyond (4:24).
of people followed Jesus (4:25), but they did not necessarily follow
Jesus in the same way the four fishermen followed Jesus. The crowds that followed
Jesus were amazed and astonished at his ministry, and
many of them praised God for it (7:29; 9:8; 15:30-31; 22:33). However, only a
portion of them committed their lives to Jesus like the four fishermen did.
you in the crowd of people who is interested in Jesus? Its good to be interested,
but do you need to get closer to him? Do you need to personally commit to follow
him by trusting him as Savior and Lord?
and sisters, are you following Jesus with all your heart? In what ways are you
involved in fishing for people? Reflect on what it means to follow
Jesus, and daily commit to do it.
always, if you have any questions or comments, please let me know.