Jesus comes out of the desert, a brutal time of fasting and testing, and he begins teaching and preaching in Galilee. The people are amazed–where does this man come from? Where did this wisdom and insight come from? And what does he mean when he says, “The Kingdom of God is at hand”?
Crowds were beginning to form… rabbis were beginning to notice. People either loved him or hated him.
Jesus wasn’t like the renowned teachers of the time. Nothing is mentioned about his flowing robes, his priestly lifestyle, his impressive synagogue. When he traveled, he did so on sandals–no camel, no donkey, no caravan was necessary.
And one day he walked down a beach, and shouted to two strangers: two brothers fishing by the Sea of Galilee. His cryptic words were these: “Follow me, and I will make you Fishers of Men.”
And they must have been powerful words, because in response, we read the eight most inspiring words in the Bible:
Immediately, They Left Their Nets And Followed Him.
WHAT? Really? Jesus called to them, and they…just…left.
Immediately? No time to “sleep on it,” or “pray about it,” or ask their parents… ? Left everything they knew, their livelihoods, their families, their homes.
Every time I read this scripture, it’s like a smack across the face. Can I do this? I like to think I had my own “leaving” moment… but would I do it again? Look over at my partner, shrug my shoulders, throw it all down, and follow Him. I really do think it’s the most inspiring eight words I could ever read–so much is packed into that short sentence.
Maybe Peter and Andrew had heard the rumors and already knew who Jesus was. Maybe they had even gone to hear Jesus speak, and while he was talking they made eye contact and Jesus noticed a spark in their eyes. Maybe Jesus had just asked their parents for permission to take them on as apprentices. But I doubt it. The bible doesn’t mention anything like that, and Jesus doesn’t operate like that.
He doesn’t ask permission. He just asks.
What has he asked you to do? Was it a small voice years ago that you’ve tried to forget? Or is it something that you are reminded of daily that you couldn’t avoid if you tried? Are you running from it–or embracing it?
Or is it the nets that need to be thrown down? The ties that need to be cut, in order to follow the call. I challenge you today to remember that call on your life, and to remember when Jesus shouted down the beach to your heart. It’s the entire point of this Christian life… to follow the call.