Today we will talk about why anybody (including those fishermen) would follow Jesus. Again, our text is taken from the spots: Matthew 4:12-23/Mark 1:14-20/Luke 5:1-11
Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. “The time promised by God has come at last!” He announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men. (Mark 1:14-20 NLT)
Notice that these four men were very quick to follow. Here are some reasons why that should also apply to our own willingness to follow Jesus:
1. They knew Him. They hadn't just heard of Jesus. They hadn't just seen Jesus. They knew Him. They had followed John The Baptist and had repented of their sin. They were told by John The Baptist to now follow Jesus because He was The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. That has probably been a full year before this event. They had seen him perform miracles (like the water to wine in John 2). They had heard His teachings. They had already begun to follow Him. He had proven 'worth following' and now He was asking them to drop their 'night job' to come and be with Jesus all the time and learn how to do what He was doing. In worldly terms, this is like an incredibly successful restaraunt owner telling one of his kitchen employees to drop the apron and come out front and learn how to manage the business. This call was full of promise. It would be an adventure in faith. These men would go from having a front-row ticket to 'The Jesus Show' to playing a part instead! Likewise, you and I must follow Jesus based upon what we know about Him.
2. They didn't know where to go otherwise. It seems that every time these men found water they went back to fishing. That makes logical sense as that was what they had done all their lives and probably was about all they knew about. Without fishing they did not have much direction. Jesus had opened their eyes to a knew way of living. They even said as much: Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God. ” (John 6:67-69 NLT) So, now these men knew how to fish and they knew how to watch Jesus do what only Jesus could do. He asks them to follow Him so they could further experience all of that wonder...the choice seems clear doesn't it? Guess what? The choice should be clear for us as well.
3. Jesus had out-fished them. Now, I get out-fished all the time. See the below picture for proof. However, I am not a commercial fisherman. These men knew the waters and knew that if anyone could catch fish it would be them. All of a sudden, Jesus turns their world upside down by catching fish by the ton in the daytime and in the deep (these men knew the best way was at night and in the shallows). What does this say? It says that if Jesus can fish better than the best fisherman than He can do anything. It says He could provide for these men...and much more than fish. It says, Trust Me. They did! Likewise, you and I can trust Jesus to provide for us as we follow Him.
Jesus is still saying 'Come and Follow Me'. Are you following?