Do you ever feel like God is calling you to do something, but you are anxious about living out that calling? Walking out into what feels like the unknown can certainly cause us great distress. That was not the case with the disciples though!
Jesus called James and John, they immediately left their boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4:21-22
It was a similar story with their fishing partners, Andrew and Peter. They left everything and followed Jesus immediately, wholeheartedly, and without reservation.
Imagine what God could do if we were all so committed? Yet God proves himself to us in so many ways, and where he guides, he provides. Consider the events that led up to these fishermen’s life changing commitment. Luke 5 goes into more detail. Just before Jesus called them, Peter had allowed Jesus to preach to the multitudes from his very boat– the source of his livelihood. And Jesus didn’t take it for granted. After Peter and his partners (Andrew, James, and John) had toiled all night with no catch, Jesus arranges a miracle of supply. “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch,” he tells them. That catch turned out to be one of miracle proportions. It broke their nets and nearly sank their two boats with abundance. As Peter yielded his career– his livelihood — to Jesus, he saw God’s supply. He saw the power of God.
So of course, when Jesus called all 4 of the partners, they literally stepped out of their boats and said, “Alright, what do we do next?” Awed and humbled by Jesus’ power, they followed not knowing where Jesus would take them or how much it would cost them.
In short, they abandoned everything to follow Jesus. Maybe some people called them impulsive, irresponsible– even reckless. But if they cared at all what others thought, there’s no record of it here. They took a giant step of faith out of their boats and decided to set aside the judgment of others. They followed the one who was giving his life for them, becoming flat-out, fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Later when Jesus’ ministry was maligned as too extreme, some disciples left him. But not these 4 fishermen. Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68) Though each of these men had their challenges, their faith proved true through tremendous power– and peril– and we’re still inspired by them today.
These are the kind of followers that Jesus still looks for. Not half-hearted followers who serve him when it’s convenient and comfortable. Not casual followers who give lip service to Jesus but basically live for themselves. God is looking for us to be all in. Are you?