Topical - Fishers of Men - The Tackle Box
(Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20). Jesus said that He would make His disciples fishers of men. The Lord also told His disciples that “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen." (Matthew 28:18-20, NKJV)
2 Timothy 2:26 — This word is used only twice in the N.T. It means “to take captive, used only spiritually for the captives of the devil in a moral sense, to ensnare, seduce” (2 Tim. 2:26).
Luke 5:10 — To take alive, to catch, as hunters or fishermen do their game, and is applied spiritually to taking or catching men by the preaching of the gospel (Luke 5:10).
1. The tackle box.
a) Am I a fisherman because I own a tackle box?
(1) Does having a tackle box with everything in it make me a fisherman? No.
(2) I need to open it, and know what is in it. Our devotional life with the Lord involves opening the Word of God & knowing what is in it.
Paul said to Timothy to "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV)
Paul says in the 3rd chapter of second Timothy that "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NKJV)
(3) Then I need to use it. Just knowing what is in my tack box is not good enough; I need to use the things in it. Applying the Word of God to our lives is of much importance
James says "And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law—the law that sets you free—and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it." (James 1:22-25, NLT)
Jesus Himself said that "Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. On judgment day many will tell me, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.’ “Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse, because it is built on rock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash.”" (Matthew 7:21-27, NLT)
2. The fishing Line.
a) Our prayer life.
(1) There are different strengths of fishing line: 2, 4, & 6, etc test (tensil strength). Before you go out fishing you must first ‘line your pole’ and it must be lined with the proper test. If you don’t have the proper test it is a possibility that it might break.
(2) Application: we need to each day ‘line our poles’ with the proper strength, test sort of speak and the only way to do that is to through prayer.
(a) We are strong when we pray (Mark 9:14-29).
(b) We have a direct line to God:
The writer of Hebrews says that "We have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:14-16, NASB95)
(3) Matthew 13:8, 23
3. The bait & lure.
a) What we use to attract people to the Lord.
(1) Bait and lures require different techniques. For example, ‘bait’ generally sits in one spot, and a ‘lure’ requires a retrieval process. You don’t give up.
(2) Our words are very important.
Speaking about Jesus, Luke says that "All were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son? " (Luke 4:22)
Jesus said to His disciples that "The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life." (John 6:63)
And Peter himself said to Jesus "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life." (John 6:68)
Paul said that our conversations or speech should be "seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person" (Colossians 4:6, NASB95). Kind of like bait dip which is used to flavor the different kinds of bait.
(3) Our lifestyle is very important (Philippians 1:27).
(a) What truly mattered to Paul as he was writing to the Philippians was their consistent, holy conduct. Above all, Paul wanted their lives to reflect worthily on the gospel of Christ.
Later in chapter 2, Paul said to “Do all things without murmuring and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain." (Philippians 2:15-16, NKJV)
The greatest weapon against the devil is a godly life, "You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men;" (2 Corinthians 3:2, NKJV)
Paul said that “You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you" (1 Thessalonians 2:10, NKJV)
And writing to Timothy, Paul says to “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12, NKJV)
4. The hooks.
a) The Holy Spirit, the Word of God, & the Power of God.
You cannot try and hook someone with your own words, or you charm, or your looks, the only way to hook someone to Jesus is by the power of the Spirit of God, through the Word of God.
(1) The Holy Spirit:
Paul put it this way, he said that “When I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God… my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." (1 Corinthians 2:1-5, NKJV)
Jesus said that "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." (John 6:44, NKJV)
And speaking about the Holy Spirit, Jesus said "When He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged." (John 16:8-11, NKJV)
(2) The Word of God:
The writer of Hebrews says that "The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12, NKJV)
(3) The Power of God:
Look at the power of God in this passage. In the book of Acts we read that "A certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul." (Acts 16:14, NKJV)
When the Lord appeared to two men on the road to Emmaus and spoke to them we read that “He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45)
Paul said in Romans 1:16 that "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." (Romans 1:16, NKJV)
5. Sinkers (weights).
a) Two angles
(1) The Positive (Heb.6:19). We need to have our life ‘anchored’ with ‘hope’ in Jesus Christ.
The writer of Hebrews says "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul" (Hebrews 6:19, NASB95)
(2) Hope in this passage is a metaphor & is applied to the hope generated by faith in the gospel, enabling the believer to stand firm and immovable in the face of temptations, calamities and storms (Heb. 6:19).
(3) The Negative (Heb.12:1-2). We need to get rid of every ‘weight’ in our walk with the Lord.
Again, the writer of Hebrews says to "Lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2, NKJV)
6. The Bobbers.
a) Don’t be a bobber (Hebrews 2:1).
(1) Bobbers allow the bait to drift. We must not be drifting in our walk with the Lord.
(2) Drift away from and can have several meanings.
(a) It can be used of something flowing or slipping past, as of a ring slipping off a finger.
(b) It can be used of something slipping down and getting caught in a difficult place.
(c) It is used of something which carelessly has been allowed to slip away, as of a ship that has been allowed to drift past the harbor because a sailor forgot to attend to the steerage or to properly chart the wind, tides, and current.
(3) With these meanings in mind, the verse could be translated, “Therefore, we must the more eagerly secure our lives to the things which we have been taught, lest the ship of life drift past the harbor of salvation and be lost forever.” So the picture is not of an ignorant sailor, but a careless sailor.
(4) Understand that it is not the Word of God that slips away, the Word will never slip from us. The danger is us drifting from the Word.
Jesus’ warning in Luke 9:44, “Let these words sink into your ears,” can apply to the entire gospel. It must get inside of us and make a change in our lives.
It is not enough just to hear it. That is only the beginning, as we are reminded in Proverbs: “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body” (4:20–22).