Mark 1:14-20 - Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel." Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." And immediately they left their nets and followed Him. And going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed Him.
I think we often hear this story and think, "Wow! They just left their nets, their livelihoods, and went after Jesus, following Him wherever He went?" Now that's radical.
Has there ever been a time in your life when you've made that kind of leap into something? How about when you finally quit toying around with that musical instrument and said, "I'm going to learn how to play this thing ... even if it kills me"? Or maybe it was a practical decision to start trade school or learn French. "Parlez-vous français?"
As we all know, we can say yes to commit to something, but that's only the beginning—and unless we've counted the costs—it often ends right there.
All the more reason why the calling of Jesus' first disciples is a remarkable event. Prompted by the Holy Spirit (see John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Romans 15:13), these men followed the Savior in faith. Surely, this was not an easy thing to do, and just as surely they must have had boatloads of questions along the way: What does this mean for life as we know it? Where is He going to lead us? Are we sure we want to go there? Wouldn't it be better, really, to watch from a distance, and see how this thing plays out?
These are most definitely questions I would have. These are questions I have had—and sometimes still do.
But that's where God steps in. He upholds my flagging faith with His Holy Spirit. How does He do this? It may come from reading His Word or hearing a message. It may be a reminder from a friend who shared how the times she spends in prayer are literally changing her life and strengthening her faith to be a Jesus follower—every day—just like His first disciples.
But how can we do that with all the problems we face? We can do what the disciples did to follow Jesus: stay close to Him, pay attention to what He says, and trust that He is by our side, through it all.
Because He is, as He tells us, "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20b).
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, many are the things that distract us from Your Son. Keep us focused and ready to follow Him, all the way. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. When you were a kid, was there something you wanted to do more than anything else in the world? How about now?
2. Was there any reason Jesus zeroed in on fishermen as the first disciples He called?
3. What has God called you to do? How do you know that?
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