Bible Verse: “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” Matthew 4:19
Scripture Reading: Matthew 4:18-22
If you are like me, your first response to letting others know who you are is to tell them what you do for work. It’s almost like a natural instinct, especially for us as men.
Somehow, we have tied what we do to who we are.
But is what we do actually who we are?
When Jesus called His first disciples, he found them doing what they did best: fishing. They were fishermen. A trade they had grown up in, learned to do well, and what they were known by.
“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.” (Matthew 4:18, NIV, italics added)
Then, in the very next verse, Jesus changes their perspective:
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19, NIV, Italics added)
Some translations say that He will make them “fishers of men.”
Now, does that mean that these guys never fished again? Absolutely not! See John 21 for more on that.
But what it does mean is that these men were no longer defined by what they did but by Who they followed.
Jobs are interesting. They can be stable and consistent, or they can be transient and brief. In my own journey, I have stocked grocery shelves, been a youth pastor, worked in the school system, spent time in the mental health field, worked at Bible camps, been a kids pastor, and even built fishing boats for a time.
Our jobs are our jobs. We need them, and they fulfill huge needs in our world. But one need they were never meant to fill is defining who we are. That can only be done by the One we are called to follow no matter where He leads us.
So, the next time you are asked to share a bit about yourself, maybe don’t start with what you do but instead share about Who you follow.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for how You have provided work and income throughout the years. I pray that I would not let my identity come from that but rather from You. Amen.
Reflection: Take some time to think about one job that God has provided for you in your past and ask Him to show you more about what He wanted you to learn through that opportunity.
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