He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” Matthew 15:3
When Jesus said these words He was talking to the religious leaders of His day. No one doubted their commitment to God and their devotion to carrying out their religious duties. The problem was that they had inadvertently and subtly exchanged God’s explicit instructions for a generic substitute that they believed was just as important. As a result, they completely dropped the ball. And Jesus called them out on it.
If we are not careful, we will be guilty of the same charge as “fishers of men.” It’s so easy to substitute activities that simply prepare us or make us appear to be “fishers of men.” Attending a church service or Bible Study is a really good thing to do and it may help equip us to better share our faith but it is not an appropriate substitute for actually sharing our faith with another person.
Being nice or helpful to another person in need is something we ought to do, but again, it is not “fishing for men.” Attending a witnessing class will significantly improve your skills in sharing your faith and may even build your confidence but it still is no substitute for actually “fishing” for men. Even a commitment to develop relationships with disconnected people, as noble and good as that may be, is no substitute for verbally sharing your faith.
When it comes down to it, “fishing for men” means we are actually interacting with others who have not yet connected with Jesus Christ. It requires the verbal sharing of the Gospel. The mission given to us by God involves telling the Good News about how one can be forgiven of their sin and showing them how to enter into an eternal and intimate relationship with God.
Let me encourage you to make a commitment to God, right now, to share your faith with somebody today. You can expect God to put someone on your heart or in your path. One day, you and I will be very glad we did. The reunion, one day, with Jesus will be full of people that you connected to Jesus. What a reunion that will be!