Fishers of Men Part 2 (Discipleship)

Mat. 4:19

“Come follow me” Jesus said “and I will make you fishers of men”

Part One was subtitled “Community” I wrote about that when Jesus said that he would make Simon and Andrew fishers of men, he wasn’t talking about a weekend fishing trip, but rather about a full time endeavor that took a whole community working together with a common purpose, and that God transforms communities through communities of Christians living transformed lives in the community.

Discipleship

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”

Matthew 28:19

Most men in Jesus’ day learned their trade from their father. It would have taken years of preparation to become a skilled fisherman. They would have had to learn many things before they were ready to venture out on their own, How to tie knots, what knot to use when and why, how to use the fishing nets, what nets to use in what situation, how to identify different species of fish, etc. They would even have to learn to predict the weather.

None of these things could be learned over night, they were learned over time. An apprentice fisherman would have spent years learning from his father, or another experienced fisherman. The apprentice wasn’t simply handed a net or a pole and left to their own devices, they were shown how to use them.

Yet that is what happens to many new believers. They are told that they are sinners and that they need a savior, they are told they need to repent of their sins, they are told that they need to put their faith in Christ. Then they are handed a fishing pole or a net (The Bible, prayer, church, etc.) and left to figure out how to use them by themselves.

Discipleship is important, It is important for new believers to be taught the doctrines of the Christian faith. But in addition to being taught the truths of Scripture, new believers need some one to come along side of them to teach them how to live those truths out, and it can’t happen only on Sunday morning, it must happen in the context of day to day life

I will end with an excerpt from “definition of discipleship” over at St. George the Dragon Slayer that touches on this point.

  • Discipleship is learning. Its an educational process. That means that disciple-making involves teaching.
  • But this is not learning/teaching in the conventional sense. Jesus made disciples while walking, boating, and eating. It happened in the homes of sinners, in grave yards, and in gardens. He made disciples by telling stories, healing the sick, and casting out demons. Discipleship is intentional and strategic, but happens in the context of real life – including, but not limited to, a classroom.
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