What prompted Jesus to call Peter & Andrew? They weren’t doing anything spiritual or hanging on the edge of their seats at a religious conference. They were busy fishing when He walked by. What about James and John? They were in the boat helping their dad mend fishing nets. These four ordinary men were about their ordinary jobs when Jesus walked by and said, “Follow Me.” And THEY DID! Matthew says the “immediately” followed Him.
Luke 5 gives us a little more information on this encounter. In Luke’s account of the events Jesus taught a message from Peter’s boat and performed a miracle for the group before asking them to follow Him. This explains their “immediate” reaction but not His for choosing them in the first place. He was still walking along, trailing a crowd behind Him from Luke’s account, and chose four men from the most unlikely place.
What about those following Him around that day? Why didn’t He call some of them to be His disciples? They apparently were hanging on His every word, as I would expect any “true disciple” should be. What about calling someone from the religious sects? I’m sure that would have been a logical choice for anyone wanting to enter the religious scene.
He didn’t do the logical thing. He didn’t even do the expected thing. He did the BEST thing. He did HIS thing. He looked right past the rough exterior, the common existence of these common men, and their bleak future in society and saw their open minds, their willing hearts, and their hungry souls.
Had they been pondering “Kingdom concepts” in their spare time? Were they eagerly anticipating their Messiah’s arrival? Were they actively searching for spiritual meaning in their lives? What were they doing that made them stand out?
They was nothing “special” about them that was apparent to the eye. Their reaction of being available and willing when He called is what set them apart. When Jesus asked Peter for the use of his boat Peter could have said no. But instead, this tired man, who had been working ALL night with nothing to show for it, did as Jesus asked.
(I have so much I want to explore in the expanded account of this event but I am going to hold off until we get to Luke. I can hardly wait!)
These simple fishermen would become part of the core group of Jesus’ followers. They would stay with Him through thick and most of thin. They would never be the same again because of that one encounter by the sea.
Peter, Andrew, James and John were the first disciples Jesus called. They weren’t the last. Jesus is still calling “disciples” today. Dictionary.com lists the meaning of disciple as “any follower of Christ.” That makes me and you His disciples. We don’t follow Him physically as He walks the dusty roads of Israel, but we follow His teaching and His will.
We get this title the same way Peter and the others did that day. By listening when He calls and responding. We may not jump up and “immediately” follow Him as these four men did, but when we step out into what He has asks us to do, no matter how insignificant it may seem to us or those around us, we become His disciple.
Jesus is ALWAYS calling people to Him. He wants EVERYONE to answer His call. Not all will though. He doesn’t look at the outside or even at our past. He looks for the open heart and the willing spirit. Those He can use for His Kingdom. Listen, He is calling even now. Are you willing? I sure want to be.
Lord send me. I will never have the kind of impact Peter and the crew had but I want to be used by You in whatever way You see fit. I am willing. Please use me, Your imperfect child, to bring Your perfect love to those around me in whatever capacity You see fit.