Matthew 4:18-22 (The Message) Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said, ”Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men, and women instead of perch and bass.”
They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.
A short distance down the beach they came upon another pair of brothers, James and John, Zebedee’s sons. These two were sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their fishnets. Jesus made the same offer to them, and they were just as quick to follow, abandoning boat and father.
What dawned on me after reading this passage, is that this is the beginning of Jesus ministry and the beginning of his church!
These men were the first of twelve to be personally called by Jesus to follow him.
What caught my attention first, was how they responded.
It says they just dropped their nets, left their boats and their families and “followed” Jesus “at once” and “immediately”.
What does it mean to “follow” someone?
The dictionary definition is: a person who follows the ideas, or beliefs of another. (Thorndike & Barnhart)
So they followed Jesus and learned from him how to be connected to God. Jesus set the example of how to live connected to God through prayer, studying the scriptures, and obeying him. They witnessed the relationship that Jesus had with his Father in Heaven.
What also was interesting about their response is that they went “at once” and “immediately”. They did not delay; they did not go home first and talk to their families or check their schedules to see when they would be available. They went right then!
Thinking about this, I asked myself, what would I leave everything for? If Jesus were walking down my street as I’m making dinner or whatever, and asked me to follow him right now, would I?
Well knowing who he is, I’d have to say…Yes!
I think back to my own experience of realizing who Jesus was and that he loved me and wanted to live in my heart. I needed him! He poured his love into my wounded heart and helped me out of the darkness! I was searching for him and He came into my life at just the right time. He opened my heart and my mind to God!
What was it about Jesus that motivated these men to just drop everything and walk away with him?
Did they know who he was? It’s hard to understand what their lives were like. What they hoped for?
We hope for Jesus to return; they were waiting for his first coming!
The other thing that caught my attention is the purpose for which Jesus was calling them to follow him. The first thing he was calling them to do was to go out and bring other people to God. He taught them about God’s Kingdom and how much he loved them. Then he sent them out to tell others.
Delton talked about this on Sunday about the “reason we exist” the “purpose for Jesus’s Church” (after getting connected ourselves), is to “Connect Others”.
Connecting others to God happens in all kinds of ways:
I was connected at a Christian Camp that had a music camp. I went to get better at playing my instrument and found Jesus too. My two favorite things, Jesus and music!
My husband was connected with God during a really boring church service. As he tells it he was sitting in church, but he wasn’t really paying attention. The music and sermon were going on and on, but he was having a different experience. God was talking with him through the Holy Spirit and he was telling him to believe! Now! He could no longer deny that God was real or that he loved him. Afterwards he talked about what happened with a friend who was watching him throughout the service and could see that something was going on. He finally accepted Jesus as his Savior and he turned his life over to God!
He came home and told me about it, and our lives together have never been the same!
Are you Connected to God?
If so how are you staying Connected?
Have you helped connect anyone to God?
What is your story?
Jesus, thank you for coming to earth, and for calling the first disciples to follow you and to bring others to God. Thank you for calling me to you and helping me to love you and have a relationship with God through you. Thank you for calling me to serve you daily by reaching out to others all around me and sharing your love and personal invitation to know you for themselves.
“I love you Lord, and I lift my voice, to worship you, oh my soul rejoice! Take joy my king in what you hear, let it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear!” ( one of my favorite songs I learned long ago and taught to my kids)