Called. From Nets
A written ministry of devotions and meditations
by: Brother John R. Parsley,
"And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you become fishers of men. And
straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him."
~ Mark 1:17-18
When the call of Jesus Christ comes, we are called from some "thing", and called unto some "One". The
something is our nets; the someOne is Jesus Christ. When a siner is saved, he is not only saved "from",
but also saved UNTO, and INTO, our Master JESUS !
I like the words used in Mark's gospel, "I will make you become fishers of men."
The two key words here are make and become. Salvation comes in
an instant; but to be a fisher of men, and a disciple, one must yield to the process. To "make" something
is defined as: to bring into being; build, create, produce; to cause to be, or become. "Become" speaks of
a process of progressive development. To "become" is to "grow to be". The definition for "grow" is: to
come into being, or produce naturally; to develop, thrive; to increase in size, and to cultivate.
Now don't get scared; you are not back in English 101! The point is this: when you look at these
definitions from a spiritual perspective, it should be like a photograph developing before your eyes.
Definitions are like cross-references, they progressively open a truth and throw more and more light until
there is the revelation that so blesses your heart and becomes bread for your hungry soul. "Truth comes
by Revelation," says John Wright Follette. And since I speak English, and read from an English Bible,
might I say that a good English dictionary is a most marvelous tool for opening up Scripture. Webster
was a Christian, you know.
What is the "net" you are holding onto? And how long have you been holding onto it?
You say, "John, I'm no fisherman! What are you talking about ?"
There is a spiritual principle here. God divinely orchestrates every occasion in the Bible as a picture of
truth. There is no event that is happenstance in the living word of God. The principle is this: as long as
you hold on to your "nets" you cannot (are unable) to follow. You cannot hold a net and a cross
simultaneously. It is a crisis choice; you carry one or the other. The "net" represents all the worldly
activities that we engaged in before we received our call from Christ. The cross, quite simply, represents
Victory over death in and with JESUS !
"And he said to them all, if any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,
and follow Me" ~ Luke 9:23
Notice the words all, will, deny, take, and daily. Most revealing. Nets are not heavy. Crosses are so
heavy that Jesus fell down under His. ~ Mt. 27:32
Nets have a familiarity about them, which have a drawing effect and make them attractive to the heart
that is not yet fully consecrated. When circumstances did not seem to work out the way Peter thought
they would, Peter went back to his nets:
"Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with you." ~Jn 21:3
Do you notice that the man, who is bent on going back to his nets, has a magnetic quality about him ?
and which has the ability to drag some others with him?
John 21:3 ends with, "and that night they caught nothing."
In Luke chapter 5 verse 5 we read: "And Simon answering said unto him, 'Master, we have toiled
(contention; struggle; strife) all night, and have taken nothing.' "
The "nets" that we go back to under our own will, produce nothing, and cause much toil, contention,
struggle, and strife. Work that is done in the flesh causes perspiration; but work that is done in the Spirit
is produced by Divine Inspiration.
Because of Adam's self will, and intent to live independently of God, God was caused to say to Adam:
"By the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread." ~ Gen 3:19
Every disciple is a believer; but not every believer is a disciple. Being a disciple is conditional:
"And he said to all `if anyone would come after me, let him deny
himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.' " ~ Lk 9:23
The two key words here are "if" and "would." "If" speaks of condition and "would" speaks of the will. Has
God's will become your will? Or do you still desire your "net"? The more we surrender to God's will, the
farther we will move from the place where we once used our nets to fish.
One more thing about nets: When left on the shore they become worn, weather-beaten, and
deplapidated. The net becomes so decayed, or even degenerate, that it fulfills not the natural purpose
for which it was designed to do ~ it becomes a meaningless thing. (see Ec 1:14)
Scripture quotations are from the King James Version (KJV) and several other versions, and put into