God, may my life be open to following you at all times.
Read: Matthew 4:18-22
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. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
This passage of scripture is one we tend to skip right past but is astonishing. Jesus’ ministry has barely started. Matthew begins with an extended genealogy, then Jesus’ birth, John the Baptist, testing by Satan and Jesus starts to preach as He calls these 4 men to follow Him and they respond quickly. Certainly these four were around but they’re not mentioned in Matthew by name prior to these verses. Don’t you wonder how this could happen? They certainly didn’t understand what “fish for people” meant or would involve. And these 4 had no idea what the future would hold. But “immediately” they left their jobs, homes and families to follow Jesus toward an unknown future. What’s up with that, right? Have you ever seen anyone do something like this to this extent? There was something different about Jesus wasn’t there? The way that He spoke and Jesus’ personality and charisma were a part but there was much more. These first 4 disciples would listen to Him teach time and time again and they would watch one miraculous healing after another and even grow weary of the large crowds. They traveled with Jesus after this for the better part of 3 years and they easily could have decided at any point along the way that Jesus was a fake and simply wasn’t worth following any more. Yet not one of these four ever stopped following Jesus. God’s Son and His Gospel were simply irresistible!
What did you leave behind when you first followed Jesus? What have you left behind recently to continue following Jesus more closely? What is God asking you to lay down (family, career, security, etc.) in order to fully follow Jesus? When was the last time you listened to Jesus’ voice and started following Him toward an unknown and uncertain future? For Peter, Andrew, James and John nothing was more certain than following Jesus!
Open my eyes, ears, and hands, God, that I may follow Jesus without restraint when He calls.