As we continue with Matthew’s account of Jesus, we come to the time when He began calling disciples, and no matter how many times I read these accounts whether it be here in Matthew or in one of the other Gospels, I am always struck by the fact that Jesus called and they came immediately. No excuses, no arguments, nobody had to “pray about it” (so they could avoid saying no): Jesus called, they responded.
This short account begins with the calling of Peter and Andrew, two fishermen who were out on the Sea of Galilee fishing. Jesus calls them and says that He will make them fishers of men. Notice they had nets in the water at that moment and they just left them there and went with Jesus. Let’s be clear, they were fishermen, not sportsmen; fishing wasn’t their hobby, it was their livelihood. When they just left everything and followed Jesus, they lost their business. They also left their boat behind… they sacrificed greatly to follow Jesus, and they did it without hesitation.
Next, Jesus called John and James who were fishing with their father, and once again, without hesitation, they left not only their profession but they left their father to follow Him. If walking away from your livelihood is big, turning your back on your family is bigger still. There is a cost to following Jesus; we may not like to talk about it, but it is true nevertheless.
So to recap, these four disciples responded to Jesus immediately, and in doing so, they gave up everything they had in this world to follow Him. In our day, what do we give up to follow Him? Cussing? An hour a week?
Yet often we say following Him is too hard!
Next time, we’ll see how His early ministry was doing; see you then!