As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew 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.
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
In this narrative, we’re only given the outline of what happened. It should be obvious from human nature and the accounts in the other gospels that this was not the first time these men had met Jesus. No one will leave their family business because an unknown man walks by and asks them to follow Him.
On the contrary, there was already a relationship that had formed between these five men. Jesus had been preaching and healing the sick throughout the area. At one point, Peter even let Jesus use his boat as a pulpit. They knew the Lord’s ministry.
We know from John’s gospel, that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. He had heard John’s testimony of Jesus being the Messiah. He had met with Christ in private, and then Andrew introduced his brother Peter to Him.
This was not just a “cold call” on the part of the Lord. It was the culmination of an ongoing relationship. They knew who it was that was calling them. They wanted what Christ was offering.
But what was the Lord promising them? It’s a very interesting way to invite someone. There are two important phrases that Jesus says to them. The first is; I will make you.
He told them that if they’d fall in behind Him, He’d do a work in their lives. I think that’s the key, even for us. It’s our job to follow – that’s all. Too often we get the idea that we need to work on changing ourselves. Then we get frustrated with the results.
If I’m willing to spend time in the Lord’s presence, through the Holy Spirit, He’ll bring about the changes needed in my life. That’s where the power is. It’s clear from Scripture that only the spirit can control the flesh.
The second phrase is not apparent in this English translation. It’s the phrase; to become. The original Greek reads; I will make you to become fishers of men. I believe this means it’s a process, not an instant change.
God has a calling on your life and mine. He wants us to become something for His glory. I wish that the transformation was instant, the day I bowed my knee to Him as Lord. Unfortunately, it didn’t work that way.
There’s a growing process involved. I follow behind Christ. I spend time in the spirit. Over time, the work of God’s grace becomes evident in my life. Eventually, I become what I was created to be.
It was like that with these disciples. They had their rough spots. Sometimes it looked like they’d never get there. But after the day of Pentecost, they turned their world upside-down for the glory of Christ.
Let this speak to you. Follow behind Christ. Be patient. Don’t get frustrated that the changes in your life aren’t happening as quickly as you’d like them to. Become a disciple of Christ through the work of His Holy Spirit in you.
Question: What are some changes that are already evident in your life since you started following Christ?
© 2017 Nick Zaccardi