The Calling of the First Disciples
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
Again, we see the usage of this phrase “at once”, this time used in the context of the calling of the disciples. As soon as Peter and Andrew here the calling of Jesus to become fishers of men, they immediately drop their nets (their very livelihood) to follow Jesus.
The application of this point is so simple, and yet so very difficult – would we be willing to drop our nets if Jesus called us to do so? And moreover, could we drop our net “at once”, as Peter and Andrew did? Most of us would like to answer positively to this question, but honestly are not really sure if we would if the situation arose – maybe if we didn’t like that net anyway, or if we could do it on our own timeframe, say, in 5-6 years or so?
But the key to imitating this behavior is not understanding ourselves better, but understanding Jesus better. If we see Christ only as a friend and companion, we expect more time to chew things over, and even reserve for ourselves the right just to say, “No, sorry! Maybe later though!” But if Christ is LORD…one who has total command, one who has absolute authority, then there is no question – we lay down our nets and follow him. But this is not a completely blind obedience that we are called to, but an invitation to a better transformation: from fishers of fish, to fishers of men!
1. What is your “net”, something that you have or would have difficulty laying down for Christ? Why is this particular thing so difficult to let go of?
2. Is there something in your life that you felt God was calling you to do, but you put it off instead? Do you think there have been any negative consequences to that hesitation?
3. Although Jesus is both, what conception of Jesus do you tend to have, Christ as Friend or Christ as Lord? Why do you think balancing this conception is important for your life?