they left their nets behind.
Simple and short today, but hopefully very meaningful as we continue to process together the call to GIVE UP EVERYTHING. Take a few minutes to read and maybe reread Mark 1:16–20:
16 Passing along the beach of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew net-fishing. Fishing was their regular work. 17 Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” 18 They didn’t ask questions. They dropped their nets and followed. 19 A dozen yards or so down the beach, he saw the brothers James and John, Zebedee’s sons. They were in the boat, mending their fishnets. 20 Right off, he made the same offer. Immediately, they left their father Zebedee, the boat, and the hired hands, and followed.
Why did they follow? Why did they GIVE UP EVERYTHING to leave behind their current pursuits and follow this Jesus?
Some suggest they imagined Jesus to be the awaited leader who would bring the Jews out from under the oppression of the Romans. Others suggest that they imagined Jesus to be the greatest Rabbi ever heard, whose teachings would change everything. Some suggest they imagined Jesus to be the expected Messiah, banking on what John the Baptist preached and believing through His teachings. We really don’t know why.
But here’s what we do know. They followed. We also know that they left their nets behind. They gave up everything. Surrendered in that moment to walk with Jesus, trusting Him for their needs and their direction.
Three bottom line questions to me, and I would really like your responses.
- do you think it is possible to pursue the American Dream (to want the house, the wife and kids, great benefits, leisures, retirement, a reputation for success) and to follow Jesus at the same time?
- does Jesus fit in among the other elements of the life you are pursuing, or is He the life you are pursuing?
- He is saying, “Follow Me.” Are you hesitating to fully leave it all behind? If so, what is holding you up? If not, what does “leaving it all behind” look like in the culture of the American Dream and in the culture of the consumeristic church of the west?
I am grappling with this, too, remember. Let’s learn and live His ways together. Thankful for you.