As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.
Mark 1: 16-20
Jesus’ words tend to have an unorthodox effect on those to whom He is speaking. In today’s reading, Jesus tells His first disciples in no extraordinary way that they would be “fishers of men” if they were to follow Him. Such words must have been somewhat confusing to these first century fishermen, let alone for us in today’s world.
The truth is it isn’t what He said that made them react the way they did, it was how He said it. The voice of Jesus rang into the ears of Peter, Andrew, James and John, but the vibrations touched their souls when He said, “Come, I will make you fishers of men.” With such confidence and calmness, Jesus offered to them a way of life that involved not only mystery, but also vision. In the back of their minds they knew that this loner on the shore knew what He was talking about, and they needed to follow Him.
Our students will recognize very quickly if we, like Jesus, have a vision for them. It is of great importance that we develop this vision, then speak and act with great confidence in our abilities to teach them this vision. Like Jesus, we must emit an aura of peaceful confidence that touches the souls of our students to the point that they will know that if they follow us, they will be successful regardless of how mysterious or difficult the path may be.
Today, let’s take a few moments before teaching and decide what our vision is for our students. By the end of the year, what do we want them to have accomplished? What expectations will we set to make sure they become successful not only in our classroom, but in their other classrooms after they leave us? What individual goals do they have for themselves?
When we implement our vision into the hearts of our students and unify our efforts with theirs, we too will be a “fishers of men,” just like Jesus in today’s reading.