Day 19

Day 19

Jesus leaves Jerusalem and makes His way back up north to His new home in Capernaum. He most likely heads over to the shores of the Sea of Galilee to meet up with some of His early followers, who had returned home as well to their parents, wives and families. He arrives early in the morning, just as the sun breaks over the horizon. These fishermen have just come off of a long night of fishing and are hard at work washing and mending their nets. What will Jesus say to them? Will they be excited to see Him?

Read Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:16-20

Who is Jesus calling? Was this their first encounter with Jesus?

What is Jesus modeling for us in how He called these disciples?

When the disciples hear this call to “follow me and I will make you fishers of men”, What questions do you think are going through their minds?

Let me begin by saying that many people have been confused by the life of Jesus because they have not taken the time to study it chronologically, as you are. If you just read Matthew or just read Mark you would see how one might be confused. Both authors appear to have Jesus coming out of the desert in Matthew 4 and Mark 1 and moving right into Capernaum and making the call to become fishers of Men. You would not understand that Jesus had already invested over a year and a half in these guys before this call. This is a very significant point. There is almost a year lapse in time between Matthew 4:11 and Matthew 4:12 and between Mark 1:13 and Mark 1:14. But both authors help us by giving us the reference point of John the Baptist going to prison (The latter verse in each pair). I think this is one of the reasons the Holy Spirit prompted the Apostle John to write a fourth gospel. There was much confusion in the early church as to the process of disciple making, and John really helps us see that, although it is not a period of major growth in the ministry, Jesus’ earlier investment in His disciples set the stage for the ministry and multiplication movement that we are about to see.

Can you see that before Jesus issued this call to become a “fisher of men,” he had already invested more than a year and a half of His life in these early followers? He had not just shared with them the gospel of the Kingdom of God, but He had shared His very life with them as well (John 3:22). This call to follow closer comes on the heels of a huge investment of time, energy and life on Jesus’ part in these men. He spent all that time modeling for them the disciple-making process and now He calls them in to join Him in it. That is why, when Jesus comes walking by, these guys throw down their nets and follow Him. Jesus was not some unknown person to them, but their Messiah and trusted friend. These were not a bunch of novice fisherman, but men with businesses and families. This is not some kind of fairy tale scene of Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee and saying “come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men!” where these guys throw down their nets and go running after Him. Jesus had a deep relationship with these guys and it is obvious they had made plans to follow Him and were simply waiting for Him to come and call them. It is something they must have talked about during the last couple years together. Peter must have talked it over with his wife and mother-in-law. John and James must have talked it over with their father and mother. Notice that their father doesn’t run after them or call them back. He let them go, and we will find out that Zebedee’s family is made up of believers, strong supporters of the ministry and key partners in the movement.

Peter and Andrew were from a smaller fishing town just east of the big city of Capernaum (John1:44). James and John must have lived nearby because their father Zebedee had many hired servants and was in some sort of business partnership with Peter (Luke 5:10). Notice what these four left behind to follow Jesus. Yes, it is true to follow Jesus more closely you must leave some things behind. Even good things. But nonetheless, you must leave them behind if you are to truly follow Jesus and His father’s will. Peter left behind his business, and we will find out later that he also left his family behind. James and John left behind their father and their part in the business to follow after Jesus. You will be discovering as we go along what else Jesus calls these guys, and us, to leave behind so that the Father can use us. What do you need to leave behind?

I want to repeat what I said earlier. Jesus invested more than a year and a half of His life in these early followers. He did not just share with them the gospel of the kingdom of God, but He shared His very life with them as well. Paul, always following the example of Jesus (1 Cor. 11:1), shares the same sentiment with his dear friends in the town of Thessalonica. Take a look at 1 Thessalonians 2:8. Let it sink in deep. God desires that you impart life and not just the message of the gospel. Spend some time today with the people you invest your life with, discussing how they can also invest their lives in others as well. Challenge them today with the life of Jesus and follow his lead. Who are you investing in?

While at first its hard to share the gospel with people, sometimes we find it easier to share the gospel one time and be done. But that's not the model Jesus shows us here. Instead, we see long term commitment.

Are you investing in people who need to know Jesus? Are you sharing your very life (1 Thes 2:8)?


Larry - January 26th, 2023 at 8:27am

This much I have been blessed with, to understand the importance of walking alongside people as i to follow and work at following in his footsteps Jon, thank you for your heart for discipleship building, and guiding me and my family!

Emily McCauley - January 26th, 2023 at 9:18am

I love how you said, once you decide to follow him and be fisher of men, you have to leave behind some things.

We all have to leave behind the world and follow Jesus’ way. That may be friends, money, a job, religion, drinking, cussing, sports, food, shopping, anything that may be in the way of you and Jesus!

When people see a change in us, they want to know what we are doing. Just like when someone loses weight, everyone wants to know what diet you are on.

Then, we have a great opportunity to share our lives with other people. Investing in other people, to tell them about Jesus is what we are called to do! You can start by taking someone a meal, writing them a note, inviting them to church or church event, just hanging out and spending some time together, or serving them in some way.

Tricia Langley - January 26th, 2023 at 2:59pm

That's the message that stood out to me as well, that in order to truly follow Jesus, some things, maybe many things must be left behind. Great question to ask yourself, what should I be leaving behind? What am I Willing to leave behind?! A question worth pondering!