Mark 2:9-11, 12-13, 16-20; Matthew 3:13-17, 4:1-11, 18-22; Luke 3:21-22, 4:1-13, 5:1-11; John 1:29-51
So they pulled up on shore, left everything, and followed him. (Luke 5:11)
Jesus’ ministry begins with his baptism and the choosing of the twelve disciples who would be closest to him for the next three years. Andrew decided to follow Jesus and the first thing he did was to go and tell his brother. He brought Simon, who we know as Peter, to Christ. Philip heard Jesus’ call and went and found Nathanael and both men followed Christ. When James and John heard Jesus they immediately followed him.
Luke describes a night of unproductive fishing for Peter. He was out all night and had nothing to show for it. And fishing was his income. I am sure he was tired and discouraged and frustrated. According to Luke, Jesus taught a group of people there by the sea side and when he was done he told Peter to row out into the lake again and drop his net. I love Peter’s response.
I’ve tried all night to catch a fish and used every trick I knew and I have nothing to show for it. I’m tired. But, ok. Since you’re telling me to go out again, I’ll do it your way.
The result was so much fish it took two boats to haul it all in. Jackpot!
Now here’s what blows me away. Peter was looking at the mother lode of fish, probably enough for him to live quite comfortably on for a while. But his thoughts went right to his heart. He recognized his sin in the presence of Jesus and he left all that fish right there on the shore and followed Christ.
God is asking me today if I am as eager to follow him. Or are there some things I am holding on to, some dream I want to come true, some goal I’ve made for myself that I haven’t realized yet? Do I say to my Lord, I’ll give my life to you later. I’m going to live my life my way for a while. I’ll come to you when I’m ready.
The God of the Universe wants you. He wants you to follow him today. Yes, it might mean giving up on a dream or walking away from ungodliness. But he promises that what you will receive from following him is so much better than what you have without him. Ask Peter. I don’t think we’ll find a moment of regret on Peter’s part as we read on in the New Testament.
My prayer is that each of us will be as eager and willing to follow Jesus, to go where he wants us to go and be who he asks us to be. May we be fishers of lost souls. And may our catch overload the boat today.