“Immediately they left their nets and they followed Him.” – Matthew 4:20
The Bible tells the story of Andrew and Peter going from being fishermen to fishers of men. We are introduced to them with this 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 happen that way. The fact is, Andrew and Peter actually had a lot of knowledge of and interactions with Jesus, before presented with that seemingly all or nothing ask.
- John 1:35-42: They had been introduced to Jesus and then spent a full day listening and talking to Him.
- Luke 5:1-11: Then 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 home towns.
- Matthew 4:18-20: Finally, after all that, they realized that Jesus was not just a man, but the Messiah – the God-man and 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 were ready to drop everything and follow Jesus.
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. The same is true for us. If we take the time to get to know Jesus from the Bible, we’ll recognize and be ready for the same calling, “Follow me. I’ll make you fishers of men.”