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Daily Reading: 26th July 2016

Matthew 4.21-22 cont.

21 And going on from there He saw two other brothers: James and John, his brother, the sons of Zebedee. They were in the boat with Zebedee mending their nets, and Jesus called them.

22 And immediately, leaving the boat and their father, they followed Him.

Like Simon and Andrew, James and John immediately followed Jesus, leaving their nets. Matthew tells us that they also left their father, Zebedee.

Following Jesus might mean having to leave family behind.

It is sometimes said of people that they need to cut the apron strings. It is usually said of those who continue to live dependant on their mother or father. They have not learnt to live independently from them. Following Jesus will mean learning to change the focus of our dependency away from parents and onto Jesus, especially if we are beyond childhood.

When God called Abram (Abraham) it was with these words:

Then the LORD told Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you” – Genesis 12.1 (NLT).

Abram had to leave his father’s house to enter into the promises of God to become the father of many nations.

He was not a young man when God called him, it would have had a massive impact on his life. God called him to leave all the security he had ever known, which meant his trusting in God for his security.

Likewise, James and John left their father, as well as the family business; they left their security to follow Jesus, not knowing where such a journey would take them.

Leaving the parental influence may be necessary if we are to move on with Jesus. We do not know if by leaving their father James and John actually left home. It may be that whilst Jesus ministered in and around Capernaum that they stayed in the family home.

However, once Jesus began to minister further afield they followed Him and joined themselves to His lifestyle.

There was an occasion when someone said that they would follow Jesus, this was His reply:

Jesus said to him: “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man does not have a place where He might lay down His head” – Luke 9.58.

There is a cost to following Jesus, but it is more than worth it.

29) Jesus declared: “Sincerely I say to you, there is no one who has left a house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields on account of Me and on account of the gospel

30) who will not receive a hundred times as much houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and houses, with persecution, but in the coming age eternal life.”

 

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