And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him. (Mark 1:16-17)
Jesus comes out of the wilderness preaching the kingdom of God and choosing men who would follow him; it’s his first act of obedience from his time of isolation. We don’t know if he already had a relationship with Simon or Andrew before, maybe they had been in the crowd when he preached, we don’t know. But as he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he noticed four fishermen and he called them to follow him.
In Luke 5 (see verses 1-11) we are given more information about this initial interaction. Luke describes an initial relationship built around a series of steps that involved obedience on Simon’s part. He is first told to let Jesus preach from his boat, and then he is told to launch out and fish. According to Luke, Simon is skeptical but he still obeys.
But when Simon catches a massive amount of fish he is humbled deeply and worships Jesus. There is a very important lesson. When we listen and obey, we get blessed. When we listen and obey the voice of our master, we experience miracles.
Have you been asked by the Lord to do things in your life that you don’t want to do? Have you ever been asked by Jesus to love someone who isn’t lovable? Has Jesus ever challenged you to step out on a venture that is frightening and even beyond your natural abilities?
Liz and I have. Even most recently, we are being called by God to love where we don’t want to love, to forgive people who aren’t easy to forgive. It’s hard, but it’s the right thing to do. This is God’s call to discipleship. To be a disciple we must learn to listen and obey.
To listen and obey is the first step to becoming a disciple. Simon and his brother, James and his brother, chose to obey Jesus even when it went counter to their natural impulses and desires. So must you my friend. You will be called by Jesus to “launch out” beyond your faith and abilities. Listen and obey. It’s the road less traveled. It’s the road of discipleship.
On the Road,