February 25, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.”—Matthew 4:18–22 (NKJV)
Imagine the scene by the Sea of Galilee. Jesus, the Son of God, approaches these fishermen while they’re diligently working. Simon and Andrew, casting their nets, paused as a stranger approached. It was Jesus. “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men,” He said. Without hesitation, they abandoned their nets and followed Him.
A short distance away, James and John, busy with their father Zebedee, received the same call. Leaving their boat and their father, they, too, followed Jesus.
In an instant, their lives were transformed. These humble fishermen became the first disciples of Jesus, embarking on a journey that would change the course of history. What’s remarkable about this story is the disciples’ immediate response. They don’t hesitate, negotiate, or procrastinate. At once, they abandon their nets and follow Jesus. Their willingness to obey without delay demonstrates the depth of their faith and trust in Him.
This passage reminds us that Jesus calls us to leave behind the familiar and follow Him. Just as He transformed the lives of these fishermen, He offers us the opportunity to be part of His divine plan, inviting us to follow Him with faith and purpose.
This passage teaches us several important lessons:
Jesus Calls Us
Just as Jesus called these fishermen, He calls each of us to follow Him. His call isn’t reserved for a select few, but is extended to everyone who is willing to hear and respond.
Notice the immediacy of the disciples’ response. They didn’t delay or offer excuses; they left everything behind to follow Jesus. This challenges us to examine our own willingness to respond promptly to God’s call in our lives.
Sacrifice and Commitment
Leaving behind their livelihood and family, the disciples demonstrated their deep commitment to Jesus. Following Christ may require sacrifices, but the rewards far outweigh what we leave behind.
In our lives, we frequently seek confirmations when we believe God is guiding us. However, it’s intriguing to note that in this particular chapter of the Bible, the disciples left their occupations behind and followed Jesus without seeking additional confirmations. How can we cultivate such unwavering trust like them, especially in a world filled with countless voices vying for our attention?
To develop this kind of trust, we can start by nurturing our relationship with God through prayer and Scripture. By spending time in His Word and seeking His guidance in prayer, we can grow more attuned to His voice. It’s essential to regularly listen for His still, small voice, which often aligns with His Word and resonates with a sense of peace.
In a world filled with competing voices and distractions, finding that level of trust is an ongoing journey. It’s a process of continually seeking God, listening for His voice, and making conscious choices to follow His guidance, even when it challenges our understanding. As we walk this path, we can move closer to the kind of trust that enabled the disciples to leave everything behind and follow Jesus without hesitation.
Pause: Take a moment to think about any specific calling or direction in your life you might be hesitant to follow and contemplate the potential impact of taking a step of faith. Now reflect on moments in your own life when you have felt a call from God. How did you respond? Did you hesitate or respond with immediate obedience? What might you need to leave behind to fully follow Him?
Practice: Practice immediate obedience in your own life. Identify an area where you may have been hesitant to follow God’s call or make a significant change. Just as the disciples left their nets and boats, take a practical step today toward aligning your life with God’s will. It could be as simple as reaching out to someone in need, volunteering, or committing to a regular act of kindness that reflects your faith.
Pray: Dear heavenly Father, as we meditate on the calling of the first disciples, we’re reminded of Your continuous call in our own lives. We thank You for the invitation to follow Your Son, Jesus Christ. We pray for a sacrificial commitment to Your purpose in our lives. Help us understand that following You may require us to let go of certain comforts and conveniences. Empower us to make these sacrifices joyfully, knowing that the rewards of discipleship far exceed anything we leave behind. Amen.
After serving four years in the events department at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, Romina and her husband Greg moved to Sardinia, Italy, as missionaries. Before this, Romina, a trained chef, had a successful 25-year career as a Food and Beverage Director in the U.S. hospitality industry. In Sardinia, when she's not dedicated to her missionary work, Romina indulges her passion for writing and exploring local street markets, discovering new flavors and culinary inspirations.