Matthew 4.18-20 cont.
18 Now walking beside the sea of Galilee He saw two brothers, Simon, the one called Peter, and Andrew, his brother. They were casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.
19 And He said (says) to them: “Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
20 Then they immediately left the nets and followed Him.
Not only did Jesus speak to Simon and Andrew whilst they were working, He also used their occupation to give them a new venture for their lives.
As we look back on this incident we know what this meant for them, but how much did they understand what it meant to be made fishers of men? Perhaps they only had a limited understanding of the vision to which Jesus was calling them. They would not know that in three years time Jesus would be arrested, killed, and raised from the dead after three days. They would not understand that they were to be apostles sent In Jesus’ name to preach the gospel in other countries.
Likewise none of us knows the totality of the calling of Jesus to follow Him. It is not necessary for us to be in full possession of the facts of the life He calls us to and the vision that He gives us.
It was in faith that the disciples immediately left their nets to embark on a unknown journey.
In 1 Kings 19 there is the account of how Elijah threw his cloak over Elisha. At the time Elisha was ploughing a field. This action was Elijah calling Elisha to follow him as a prophet of God. Elisha responded immediately, sacrificed his oxen, and burnt their yoke:
Elisha then returned to his oxen, killed them, and used the wood from the plough to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the other ploughmen, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant – 1 Kings 19.21 (NLT).
Here is a good example of what we have to do when Jesus calls us to follow Him.
1 Act immediately. Make no delay in responding to Jesus.
2 Leave our nets behind, burn our previous yoke. This means to detach ourselves from what we have been occupied with. A new vision requires a clean break; nets have to be left, and the yokes (restrictions) of the past have to be burnt.
Jesus calls us to follow Him on a pathway that is cleared and free from the clutter of the past.