MATTHEW 4:18–22 – While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And 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, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”
THEME OF THE DAY: LEAVING OUR NETS AND BOAT. There is a lot going on in today’s scripture. The lessons abound but we want to focus on only one, and it is a big one. Let’s do so from two angles. First, as observers.
We are standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee watching the fishing industry at work. Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew are busy casting nets into the water. A little further down the shore, there is James, his brother John, and their dad repairing nets in their boat. They must have a successful fishing business since the nets are probably in need of mending from all the work they did bringing in the catch of the day. As we watch this group of fishermen at their trade, we see another Figure. Alone. Walking on the shore approaching first, Simon and Andrew. He doesn’t engage in conversation. He gives a command and a promise and both with authority – “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Wow! Who is this Man being so direct with words basically saying, “Give up your old and current life and follow me on a new life.” The suspense would be building as we watched except there was no hesitation. The scripture reads of their immediate obedience toward a Man they knew nothing about – “Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” Without any second thought, Simon and Peter abandon the familiar for the unfamiliar and step out in faith to follow Jesus. Oh, by the way, the same thing occurs with James and John except something else is added. Jesus makes the same call of immediate obedience to them, and they not only give up their familiar occupation, but they leave their father, and the family business to follow Christ. Quite a scene, huh? Now let’s look at the same account but as participants.
We are not only on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, but gainfully employed by James, John, and their father Zebedee. We have worked in their fishing business for a time now. Good wages, benefits, and they are good employers. All is well. Family taken care of and we enjoy the work. As we are doing our part in mending the nets, we, too, see the lone Figure coming our way. He stops, looks at all of us, and says to the brothers who are the bosses in the business, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” And within a flash, we went from five of us mending nets to two – Zebedee the father and ourselves. Well? What do we do? This Jesus gave a command which was immediately obeyed by the brothers. They left all – the business and the family to follow the Man whose message of authority was irresistible. They had to obey.
Okay, application . . . the call of Christ is to us right now – “Let go of your nets (cares, the pleasures, the things of the world), leave your boat (the comfort, security in life), even leave the dearest of human relationships (no one must have a greater attachment to us than Jesus), and come follow Me.” What do we do? Right now. Our decision won’t be in words, but actions. Think about it and think about it on the backdrop of these words of the Lord Jesus – And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it (Luke 9:23-24).
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I try to hold on to anything or anyone in life and not submit all my life to You.”
QUOTE: “Jesus calls us to give up our lives, not hold on to our lives, and in obeying Him, we truly discover life.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,