Reflection on the book “Fishers of Men”
by Jerald Cruz
We all have a story to tell. A story of our own personal conversion and transformation in Christ. Ever since we have known Him, our lives have been undoubtedly changed. The once lonely, fearful and restless persons that we were became people of joy and peace. We are experiencing these things from the day we realize the immense love that God has for us. However, this is not just our story. It is for everyone. Everyone, not just us, is a character in the story. Others just don’t know it yet. That is why it is our job to tell that story. Truly, there are still a lot of people who need to meet Jesus in the same way that we have known Him. It’s about time that we should have the burden to seek them and allow them to experience the kind of life we are enjoying right now.
God’s love and God’s greatness is such a good news that needs to be heard. But it can only be heard if it is proclaimed. And so there is a need for bearers of the good news. And here we have another problem, Those who have heard the good news have not passed it on. Those who know the gospel have not been proclaiming it. Those who have received God’s gift of salvation have not shared that gift with others. And so what God wants to do in the world today is to raise up fishers of men. When we understand how central God’s message of urgent call to His eternal plan, we will understand the importance of evangelizing the world around us.
But evangelization is not just about looking to other people. It has to do with looking at ourselves. It has to do with our relationship with God our Father, with our obedience to Jesus, and with our living a truly Spirit-filled life. And let me focus on this one.
Our mission IS NOT to bring people to Jesus. Our mission is to bring Jesus to people.
I’ve realized that preaching is never enough. The Word has to become flesh. Here’s what I noticed: At first, people will listen to the message of a messenger. But after awhile, people will want the messenger to be message itself. The life of the messenger must be the 3D movie of the message. People don’t really listen to words anymore. People wants to see the words becoming flesh in front of them. It’s useless to talk about Jesus if you don’t become like Jesus. Unless you do that, all preaching is a noisy gong and clanging cymbal. Let me say it again, our mission is not to bring people to Jesus. Our mission is to bring Jesus to people. And you do that by being Jesus to somebody. For me, that is the way of fishing.
I love this passage: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12) Good deeds, not good debates, will open people’s hearts to God. I believe it’s also service not only sanctity, that will touch lives. I love that story when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. In Biblical times, there were four ranks of slaves. Only the lowest-ranking slave washes feet. Jesus took that role and said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” Jesus didn’t just teach a way of life and said, “Do this.” Jesus served us, and then said, “Follow me.” We need to be Jesus to somebody.
When we look back into our lives, we felt loved because someone became Jesus to us. We came to know God’s Love because somebody loved us without condition. It can be our dad, our mom, any member of the family, our friends, etc. And that’s the way of fishing! I firmly believe that it is the best way of being a fisher of men, the true evangelization. Being Jesus to somebody.