In Matthew 4:18-22, Jesus began calling His disciples. His first four disciples were fishermen (although Jesus called disciples from other walks of life; Matthew Himself was a tax collector). When Jesus called these disciples He said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (vs. 19). Clearly Jesus had a purpose for these disciples: they would fish for men.
The idea of disciples of Jesus fishing for men, or participating in evangelism, should come as no surprise to Christians. After all, Jesus left us the Great Commission to motivate us to share the gospel. Evangelism is an essential aspect of discipleship. Sadly, we often draw too sharp of a distinction between discipleship and evangelism. While they are certainly distinct, they are also connected.
Here, Jesus calls these men to teach them to evangelize. As Osborne said, “The purpose of discipleship is evangelistic, to learn a whole new type of ‘fishing'” (Osborne, Matthew, Kindle Location 2914). There is obviously a connection between the two. Disciples must be taught to evangelize, and those who evangelize must be prepared to make disciples (including teaching them to evangelize!).
Let me close by asking you a question: are you a disciple of Jesus? If so, are you sharing the gospel? Are you fishing for men? Part of being a disciple is sharing the gospel. Let’s get busy telling people about Jesus. Let’s fish for men!