It was the chance of a lifetime—if they only knew how it would end up! These four fishermen were going about their business as usual. Their family business was a stable income for the most part.
Then along comes a compelling offer of a new career. They had seen this extraordinary man before and even heard some of his teaching. But now, he singled them out with a personal invitation, “Come with me. Hang out with me and learn from me. Work with me to change the world!” This was no part-time job but a full commitment. They would eat, sleep, and travel together with Jesus, learn from him and seek to become like him.
Did they hesitate? Not a bit! They left their boats, nets, income, security and all—and followed immediately. No thoughts of keeping options open or waiting for a better offer. It was an exciting life—often perplexing, dangerous, fulfilling, and blessed.
When Jesus calls, it’s time to go. No delays, no regrets! Being chosen for His team is an awesome privilege.
Magi from the east were looking for a King.
Jesus showed up as the Son of David in Bethlehem.
Simeon was watching for the Messiah God had promised he’d see before he died.
That Messiah showed up in the Temple in his mother’s arms.
Disciples on a stormy lake were looking for a lifesaver!
The Savior showed up walking on the water and calmed the storm.
Mary Magdalene was distraught over the loss of her beloved Rabbi and Friend.
Jesus whispered her name and turned her tears into incredulous joy.
Two men expressed frustrated hopes on the road to Emmaus.
A Stranger walked with them, explained it all and then revealed His identity.
Seven disciples were returning from a futile fishing trip.
A Man on shore gave them advice and their nets were filled!
“It’s Jesus!” When Jesus shows up, all is well. He is all we need!
What happens when Jesus calls people to follow Him? Here’s what I found in the book of Matthew:
The four fishermen walked away from the family business and followed him without question or delay. (Mt 5:18-22)
Matthew immediately left his job (tax collecting) and went with Jesus. No guarantees, no contract, just complete surrender. (Mt. 9:9)
A religious teacher was ready to go with Jesus anywhere, but Jesus warned him that it would be a life of privation and rootlessness, humanly speaking. We don’t know what he decided. (Mt. 8:19-22)
Another follower asked for a delay in order to attend to family obligations. (Mt 8:21-22)
Still another young man wanted to follow Jesus but valued his riches more—and sadly turned away. (Mt. 19:16-22)
Which of these people do you suppose had the most satisfying lives in the long run? What would it cost you or me to make that kind of total commitment, never looking back, never holding back, no regrets? Is it worth it?
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?* Is anything worth more than your soul? (Mt 16:24-26)