While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.
And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him (Matt. –22).
Monday, September 30, 2013
Ditching Dead Fish
Grab a bottle of sunscreen and a towel! We're about to take a trip to the lake.
When Jesus found these men, they were having just another day at work. Then He gives them a simple command: "Follow me."
We know the end of the story. We have the cheat sheet that shows us Jesus really was God and He was going to use Peter and Andrew for big stuff, but they didn't have access to that information. They simply saw a man on the shore asking them to follow Him—and they dropped everything and did it. Now that's radical!
The Bible says they left their nets, but they left much more than that. They left their jobs, their ticket to security. I'm pretty sure they also left their reputations there on the beach. I doubt many people understood how they could leave their nets and follow Jesus without a ten-year plan. They may have lost family members and friends who shook their heads in disgust at what may have seemed like an irresponsible decision.
Being a radical for Jesus will cost you, too. Don't ever let anyone tell you that it won't. There's a reason why lukewarm Christianity is so tempting—it requires so little from us. To keep water cold or hot, you have to work at it. You either need to keep adding ice or keep adding heat. For lukewarm water, you can just let your cup sit on the counter. It requires no effort, no time, no energy. Effortless faith may sound appealing, but think about what's really at stake.
What if Peter, Andrew, James, and John had told Jesus no that day? Yep, life might have gone a little smoother. Sure, people might have snickered a little less. But on their best day, all they would have to show for their lives would be a boatload of dead fish. That's it. No lives changed. No earthshaking mission. No intimacy with Jesus. Just day after day of dead fish.
Is there anything in your life that you're holding on to instead of jumping off the boat toward a radical faith? Comfort maybe? Or acceptance? Or reputation? Or predictability? Or your plans for the future (vs. His)? I know those things seem important, but at the end of the day, they're likely just dead fish.
What is it that Jesus is saying "follow Me" to you about these days? Will you walk away from the dead fish and obey?
Note: Parts of this post are taken from My Name Is Erin: One Girl's Plan For Radical Faith.