“Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” Matthew 9:35-36
Jesus actually cared about people. It bothered him that they were in distress. He saw that they were “harassed and helpless” and lost like a “like sheep without a shepherd.” He was committed to doing what He could to help. He knew they needed the good news (The Gospel) about forgiveness and eternal life. But most of them were so consumed by their pain and suffering that they were deaf to the good news. They weren’t in any condition to hear anything until they felt some relief from their immediate suffering. So, Jesus came to the synagogue and spent time teaching those who had questions. He traveled all around the region healing all kinds of diseases and afflictions.
A “fisher of men” actually cares about people. This is a heart issue. You can’t manufacture this. You can’t make yourself feel something you don’t. Only God can change your heart. But this change occurs as you spend time with Jesus and time with those He cares about. It just takes time. But, what should you do in the meantime.
You can act like you care. The Bible doesn’t tell us to feel love for our neighbor, it tells us to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” (Matthew 22:39) Admit it, there are times when you don’t like yourself. But that doesn’t stop you from loving yourself. Loving yourself and others means you are committed to finding help when it’s needed. Love means you seek to meet the needs of the one you are loving.
You know what happens when you love people with your actions? You start loving people! You can’t help it. The feelings of love follow the actions of love. You will start caring for people once you start caring for people.
People will see right through to your heart when you genuinely love them. When they know you love them, they will want to know the rest of your story. The good news or “Gospel” will become more than wishful thinking or an illusory dream when packaged with a life of love.
So what should we do? Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you set aside time to get to know your neighbor?
Are you aware of what is bothering your neighbor?
Can you honestly say you care enough about your neighbor to do something about it if you could?
Are you prepared to share the Good News the moment they’re able to hear?
If your answer to these questions has been mostly “no” then it’s time to change your answer to a “yes.” A “fisher of men” would be answering these questions with a “yes.” Go ahead and try it. As a follower of Christ, you’re going to see that you were born to be a “fisher of men.”