As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once, they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4:18-22
In Matthew 4, we are introduced to Simon, Andrew, James, John and Zebedee while they are at work, doing what they did day in and day out. It was difficult, physically draining work but it sustained them - providing food and income for their families. It was also a family business for them. Simon and his brother Andrew worked together; as did James and John who worked with their father. Working shoulder to shoulder and relying on each other every day through sunshine, rain, and storms surely would have been challenging. There had to be a bond of trust that they depended on to remain safe while on the boat. They must have loved and respected each other. It was familiar, it was home and they were good at it.
The words that jump off the page for me as I read the scripture are "at once" and "immediately." They imply certainty, a boldness “to stand up and go.” Some might say they were impulsive. I believe that they knew in their hearts who Jesus was and they did not want to miss out on what He had to offer. They were obedient to His call and left EVERYTHING that was familiar. I wonder how many of us would do that. It’s easy to worry about food, clothing and shelter and to let that prevent us from standing up and stepping out when God invites us. But God knows us. And His word addresses this fear – “Therefore take no thought, saying, "What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” (Matthew 6:31-32) and “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Lord, I do not want to miss out on any invitation You extend to me. I want to boldly stand up, obey Your voice and go. Life with You is an adventure and You have promised to sustain me and to provide my every need. I trust You. Lead me, Father, and show me what You want me to do. Give me Your strength and encouragement and be my guide. When I get scared or hesitant remind me of Your promises and renew my spirit.
Sandy Spence, Connection Group Leader / Murrysville Campus