I love reading about Jesus calling the first disciples in each of the Gospels. So nonchalantly, Jesus rounds up his troops who will change the world. Epically. It’s like the beginning of an incredible action movie but 35298932 times better because this is real life!
In Matthew 4:19 and Mark 1:17, Jesus tells Simon and Andrew to “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men”. In these same chapters, Jesus calls to James and John and immediately, they leave their father in their boat and follow Him.
In the beginning of Luke chapter 5, James and John witness Jesus tell Simon to lower his nets in deep water to catch fish. After a long day of catching nothing, they were astonished when his nets were tearing from the great number of fish. The three men instantly left everything behind to follow Jesus.
Finally (I saved my favorite for last), in the first chapter of John, Jesus is being followed by two of John the Baptist’s disciples. Jesus basically asks them why they are stalking Him. From there, this crew finds their brothers and friends (Simon, Andrew, Philip, Nathanael) and boom. Apostles.
John stands out to me because #1 Jesus is sassy (“What are you looking for?” – John 1:28), #2 Jesus gives Simon a new name right on the spot (“You will be called Cephas (which translates to Peter)” – John 1:42) and #3 Nathanael is like no way
José Jesus! (“Can anything good come from Nazareth?” – John 1:45).
Despite the hesitation that Nathanael poses (which gets flipped upside down and inside out moments later), all of these guys follow Jesus without any questions. THAT IS CRAZY.
Jesus must have been doing something right!! Okay, so He does everything right. My point is, if a guy walked up to me and told me to follow him, that is the absolute last thing I would do. You could argue that this is a different time and I’m a young woman. But guys don’t just leave their entire life to follow another guy on command. That’s oddly concerning in my opinion.
We see the same phrases being repeated as Jesus gathers these men: Come, Follow me, Do not be afraid, He called them and from the opposing side, They left everything. Their recognition that Jesus was their Savior, their instantaneous obedience, their selflessness to lose their entire livelihood and their overall immense faith is astonishing!! The only thing I am sad about is that poor Zebedee was abandoned in a boat by his sons. For the best of reasons though!
It is so strikingly amazing that these men laid down their comfortable life to seek a life that they had absolutely no security in. None. They did not know a single thing that was in their future with Jesus but they followed. By the way, this is proof that following people is a paramount form of leadership!
Squad goals, amIright? Well I have news for you! You are called to be a member of this squad! Jesus is asking you in this very moment to follow Him, to drop everything that you know and to place your entire trust in Him.
He wants your whole life just as it is. Not a part of it. Not what you feel is adequate. Not what you have given before. Not the “good” parts. All of it. 100% and nothing left.
This is scary!! I know! It’s frightening for me too. You won’t be ready and you never will be. But nothing compares to His love, His plan for you and His Kingdom. Life to the fullest is waiting for you. Don’t know what this means? Good. I don’t either! But we are in this journey together to find it and Jesus is directing us the entire way.
Isaiah 43:1 describes it perfectly. “Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine.” We don’t belong to anyone else. And we certainly do not need to look anywhere else. He is with you. And He is calling you on a deep personal level.
Take me and lead me. Let that be your prayer. 12 apostles allowed this to be theirs. They left this world drastically different than they entered it. Fishermen or not, we are all called to transformation that begins with following our Savior.