19 “Follow me,” he told them, “and I will make you fish for people.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat with Zebedee their father, preparing their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. 23 Now Jesus began to go all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
In my younger years, the stories of Jesus’ disciples immediately following Him when He called seemed somewhat irresponsible. Walking away from my job or my family in what appears to be an impulsive decision was uncomfortable for me to consider. After all, the definition of “immediately” is to ‘act instantly, without an interval of time, without delay.’
A good Baptist should pray before stepping out—right? How could Peter and Andrew instantly walk away from their livelihood without invoking some serious consideration? Furthermore, how disrespectful was it for James and John, without giving the issue a second thought, to abandon their elderly father and expect him to handle the family business by himself?
Over time, however, God has fostered a different perspective in my heart. The truth nugget for me is that today’s devotional passage is not about Peter, Andrew, James, John, or even Zebedee. The story is about Jesus.
Instead of concentrating on the men who followed Jesus, we must focus on the Savior who called them. We must recognize that these men were in the presence of the Son of God. We must appreciate that God Himself placed a call on their lives. They were in the presence of the promised Messiah. Looking at their situation from this perspective makes it easier to absorb how they could just follow Him spontaneously. My above concerns are of less importance than a willingness to follow Jesus, no matter what it costs.
Before closing, it is essential to contemplate one final aspect of today’s Scripture passage. Here it is! We must recognize that the very same Savior who called these disciples also calls us to follow Him. The same Messiah tells us He wants us to fish for people too. Are we listening to His call? Are we ready to go immediately?
It may not mean God will lead us to quit our jobs, sell our homes, or head out to mission fields in the jungle…although He might. It may be that God has already led us to our mission field. We may be called to be salt and light where we work or in our own neighborhood. Our call may be to step out of our comfort zone and share the gospel with lost family members or friends. The only question we must answer is this: are we prepared to follow him wherever He leads? Are we willing to obey and submit to Him? Remember, when Jesus calls, our role is to respond immediately!
Questions to Ask Yourself
- As a believer, have you considered that God’s call on your life is no different from the call Peter, Andrew, James and John received?
- Are you prepared to follow Jesus immediately when He calls?
- If not, what do you need to release so you are ready to serve Him?