Matthew 4:20, “At once they left their nets and followed him.”
What if your whole life revolved around being a fisherman? Everything you would do everyday would be focused on just one thing, catching fish. You would wake up early each day to get your nets ready, work on the boat, get bait and head out on the water. Consider your family were fishermen for generations before you and they counted on you to keep the family business going. Plus, your wife and children depended upon every fish you caught because it provided for them food, clothes and a place to live. Now imagine if Jesus showed up unexpectedly one day and said to you, “Drop everything you’re doing and come follow me because I’m going to make you a fisher of men,” what would you do?
Maybe you would say, “I’m sorry, I can’t leave now because my family depends on my fishing” or, “Let me first check with my father and see when is a good time to take off.” And no one would blame you because it would seem crazy in everyone’s eyes to quit a job to follow an unknown teacher from a small nearby town.
Take a moment to consider what you do for a living. Could you leave your job in the middle of the day to follow Jesus? Would making disciples with Jesus be worth you giving up everything?
The first disciples; Peter, Andrew, James and John, were willing to leave everything behind to follow Jesus and be His disciple makers. Today’s verse says they didn’t even hesitate, but rather, “at once they left their nets and followed Him.” When Jesus, God in the flesh, walked the earth He deserved total commitment and abandonment of everything else. Even people’s jobs and family commitments needed to bow at His glorious feet. Remember, Jesus wasn’t just asking them to leave things behind to be “saved,” He also wanted them to leave things behind to make new disciples. Don’t fall for the error in the church that tries to separate salvation from being a soul-winner; both go hand-in-hand.
Today in modern times Jesus is no longer walking the earth, so we don’t have to literally stop working just to be close to Him. However, at the same time, Jesus is still asking His disciples to do whatever it takes to follow Him to make new disciples. For some people they may have to forsake certain friends, others might have to give up distracting hobbies and for some they might even have to leave everything to be missionaries. The ole’ timers used to say, “Jesus is Lord of all, or He ain’t Lord at all.”
Therefore, no matter what it is, if Jesus asks you to leave it behind to follow Him, do it because He is worth it. Leaving things behind may not seem easy at first, but with Jesus all things are possible and everything we give up for Him, He gives back in the Kingdom (Mark 10:29-30). Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Now it’s your turn to forsake all to make disciples with Jesus!
- Pray and ask God to show you anything that may be getting in the way of you following Jesus and making new disciples.
- Leave your past behind, along with your fears and excuses and choose to follow Jesus.
- Prioritize making new disciples with Jesus everyday.