I never get tired of reading the account of when Jesus called his first disciples to follow him. I love the disciples’ response, how they drop everything and go with their teacher. But sometimes I wonder what reaction their families and friends had as they just up and left without looking back.
Did the disciples’ parents wish them well? Did they give them a look of disbelief and confusion? Did they try to talk them out of it and tell them they were crazy to follow Jesus? And then there’s you and me. What will our people say when we choose to follow Jesus? Will we let their words affect us? Will we follow anyway??
Open your bibles to the book of Mark chapter 1:14-19. After being baptized and tempted in the desert, Jesus was ready to start his ministry. He was ready to tell people about his Father and ready to train up a few people who could carry the torch when he would have to go.
“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.” Mark 1:16-18
If you were raised in the church you have heard this passage a million times and maybe even had to put Jesus and some fish on a felt board in your early years. But as I read this intentionally as an adult, a few things jump out to me.
First, that Jesus is the one doing the inviting telling Simon and Andrew to come follow. Our whole believer lives are the result merely of the grace of God and his invitation for us to come and follow. It’s not out of our own will power, it is an invitation from the king. Thank you God for inviting us into your kingdom!
The second thing I stop and reflect on is that it is clear Jesus is offering the men something better than what they are currently doing. And lastly, that the men must’ve believed that was true because they dropped everything they were doing and went with Jesus.
What if the very best thing we do on our own in this life to make a great name for ourselves is really absolutely NOTHING compared to what we could be doing by following Jesus? How would our lives change if we dropped everything we want for our lives, all our plans for education, for jobs, for family, for our house, our retirement, and asked Jesus to tell us what HE wants for in those spaces?
Maybe some of you have already dropped some stuff and replaced it with a passion for the Lord. Or maybe you’re not sure even how to do that. Maybe you are worried your whole family would think you are weird if you start spouting off about how much you love Jesus and just want to follow him. Let’s read on…
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him. Mark 1:19-20
If I were James and John, would I have had the courage to leave my family and my family business in the pursuit of some unknown future with Jesus just because Jesus told me to come?? I hope that answer would be yes.
Now I’m not saying everyone needs to pick up and move or quit their jobs. What I am saying is that there are some things we are going to have to DROP if we want to follow Jesus– could be a toxic relationship, a sin pattern, an addiction, an idol that is battling for 1st place over God, money, status, wealth, our plans….it’s different for each of us. But these guys wouldn’t have dropped everything to follow Jesus if they didn’t think it was worth it. And I have faith that it will be.
It will be worth it for us as we start to live in the Spirit and see his fruit pouring out of our lives, it will be worth it in our families as we lead them into faith, and it will be worth it as we bear fruit for God bringing his name glory through our testimonies.
The Holy Spirit has been nagging at my heart in a couple places lately. 1) To drop my control in my parenting life and let Him lead on hard days. 2) To drop some bad habits and take better care of my body so it is truly His temple. 3) To drop negativity and unforgiveness and let God restore peace in my heart through forgiveness and mercy.
I mean the list could go on and on because we are all such hot messes in need of great help from a great God. Right??
So let’s allow God do His work in us through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Let’s turn our ear and listen and obey when He says “Come, follow me” knowing that His plans are better. And let’s get used to dropping things we want and picking up the work God has planned for us for His glory.
Let’s go fishin’ with the King!
Reflection questions: Spend some time in prayer this week asking the Holy Spirit to teach you, convict you and guide you in His wisdom so you can follow God more completely. (I will be praying for all my fellow fruitful women out there this week too! I know He will be good to lead us!)
- What is God putting on your heart that you need to DROP in order to follow Jesus fully?
- How are you going to make that happen?
- Where is God leading you to be a fisher of men? In what relationships is God asking you to reach out and be love in hard places?
- Get out there and do whatever He is asking of you even if it’s hard. Come and follow.