Have you ever deeply reflected upon the command/invitation of Jesus to His disciples:
“Follow Me and I will make you to become fishers of men.”
This simple statement is incredibly wonderful. First, it typifies the essence of the new covenant: God’s commands have been transformed into self-fulfilling prophecies for those who believe. Note that Christ is not commanding us to become fishers of men. He is inviting us into a love relationship of trust and obedience with Himself. He takes on the responsibility to transform us into fishers of men. My part is to follow Him. His part is to make me a fisher of men. I call this “no sweat evangelism.” I for one have had enough of the guilt-driven, sweaty palm kind! I suspect you are a lot like me!
This leads understandably to the next point. When we truly follow Christ we take on His values. If we are truly walking in relationship with Christ, the things that are important to Him become important to us. The focus of Peter, John and the others had been the fishing business so as to earn a living, pay the bills, and afford the things they wanted. But Christ introduced them to a new and greater passion and a more eternal purpose!
Their passion would no longer be fishing, it would be Christ Himself.
Their primary purpose would no longer be to make money but to make Christ-followers!
By the way, working in the marketplace and ministering to people can happen simultaneously! But make no mistake, when a business person truly decides to follow Christ his/her motives and priorities take on an entirely new shape. They realize that their job is their mission field and no longer just their source of provision or identity.
Years ago a pastor near where I lived was dismissed from his church by the deacons. They said to him, “You’re fired.”
He responded by saying, “You can’t fire me. I don’t work for you. You can only withhold my paycheck.”
God was this pastor’s provider, not the church. Similarly, God is the business person’s provider, not his/her job. They are on assignment from God for strategic kingdom purposes. Yes, becoming a fisher of men looks different for different people. We do not all operate with the same giftings, personalities, or assignments. But we all are called to be part of the process! As we follow Christ passionately we should expect to be involved in mission personally. It would do us well to use the last statement as a litmus test for our relationship with Christ. Jesus said that if we followed Him that He would make us to become fishers of men. The genuineness of the following sooner or later should be evidenced by the fruit of mission!