Jesus has begun his earthly ministry and in today’s passage He chooses His first four disciples.
The first two are Simon and his brother Andrew. They’re casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee as Jesus walks by.
Jesus uses the phrase, “Come, follow me,” the phrase used in that time when a rabbi selects the students he has chosen to be his disciples. But in that culture, the rabbi’s disciples weren’t ordinary students learning from an ordinary teacher. The disciples practically lived with the rabbi, following him everywhere, learning every detail they could, emulating everything he did. They didn’t just want to learn everything he knew. They wanted to BE him.
So that’s the life these brothers are expecting when they make the decision to follow Jesus.
– How much of your life are you willing to spend with the Teacher?
– How committed are you to the lifestyle of a true disciple?
I love it that Jesus relates what they’re doing now to what He will teach them to do. Now they fish for fish. Jesus says He will teach them to fish for men. This reinforces for me that Jesus doesn’t waste any of our experience. And He wants to use all our talents and gifts in the Kingdom work He calls us to.
– What experience do you have that you’re not sure Jesus can use?
– What gifts and talents do you possess that aren’t being used for the Kingdom?
And I love that Simon and Andrew were hungry for something more than status quo. They weren’t willing to settle for what they had always done. They responded immediately when this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was offered.
– In what ways are you satisfied with status quo?
– In what areas of your life have you settled?
– What is Jesus offering you now?
– How long is it taking you to accept His offer?
As Jesus continues walking on the shore (joined now by Simon and Andrew), He comes up on a father (Zebedee) and his two sons (James and John) sitting in their boat preparing their nets for their next fishing expedition. Jesus calls these two brothers and they also respond immediately, leaving their father, their boat, their nets, their lives . . . just like that . . . to follow Jesus.
– What all have you given up to follow Jesus?
– Who have you had to leave behind in order to be a true disciple?
– How long did it take you to decide to drop everything and go?
Matthew 4:18-22 (NIV)
Jesus Calls His First Disciples
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.