“Immediately they left their nets and they followed Him.” – Matthew 4:20
When Jesus called his disciples to follow Him, the decision had to be made right then and there.
The Bible tells the story of Andrew and Peter going from being fishermen to fishers of men. We are introduced to them in today’s verse: “Immediately they left their nets, and they followed Him.”
Frankly, this verse has always disturbed me. Imagine a stranger walking up to you while you are working. You don’t know this man, but He says, “Follow Me.” It means giving up all that’s familiar in your life – your family, friends, and your occupation – just to follow Him. Yes, He’s dynamic and charismatic. But dropping everything and blindly following him? I just can’t identify with that.
Fortunately, it didn’t really happen that way. The fact is, Andrew and Peter actually had a lot of knowledge of and interactions with Jesus, before being presented with that seemingly “all or nothing” ask.
- John 1:35-42: They had been introduced to Jesus and spent a full day listening and talking to Him.
- Luke 5:1-11: They heard Him preach.
- Luke 5:1-11: They even saw how Jesus knew a whole lot more about fishing than they did.
- Matthew 4:23: They watched Him heal the sick in their hometowns.
- Matthew 4:18-20: Finally, after all that, they realized that Jesus was not just a man, but the Messiah – the God-man, and they truly became convicted of their sins. It was at this point that Jesus approached them and said, “Follow Me, and I’ll make you fishers of men.” Only at that point, were they ready to drop everything and follow Jesus. They were fishermen, so the phrase, “fishers of men” was easy for them to understand.
So, no, Andrew and Peter didn’t blindly follow Jesus. They had seen and heard enough to believe that He was the Man – the Messiah. (But some of the other disciples hadn’t spent that time with Jesus, but they knew right away that He was the Messiah, so they dropped everything to become His disciples.)
The same is true for us. If we take the time to get to know Jesus from the Bible, we’ll recognize Him and be ready for the same calling, “Follow me. I’ll make you fishers of men.”
Are you ready? The call is there – just waiting for your response.
Choose to become a follower of Jesus today. If you need help with this, click the link below and find out more about how to follow Jesus.
Written by Bryant Wright, Founder, RFTH