When I’ve read the passage in Matthew 4 about Jesus and his first disciples — sometimes this is how the scene is played out in my mind:
Jesus: Hey, you two — Simon! er, uh … I mean Peter! and you, Andrew! What are you up to this fine fishy day??
Simon/Peter: We’re fishermen — soooo, we’re fishing. With our nets. It’s what we do.
Andrew: uhhh… yeah. What he said.
Jesus: Put that net down — right now! and no one will get hurt. You guys need to just put it down and let’s go. Follow me. Vamanos.
Andrew: But I like my net. It’s so …. fishy. I never leave home without it.
Simon/Peter: Hey man, I don’t know who you are — but these fishing nets are our lifeline. It’s how we bring home the big bucks.
Jesus: I know — but seriously — come on. Put down the nets. Both of you. Follow me.
….and they do. I imagine there had to be some kind of protest like this the first time Jesus said it. I know it’s not written in the text — but let’s be serious, there had to be at LEAST an exchange of glances that this guy was nuts. At least initially.
How courageous were these guys?
They must’ve liked their nets — they were their lifelines. Their source of income … their whole life. Their nets were predictable and they knew what to expect everyday for the most part. Perhaps they even had nicknames for different nets that they had as terms of endearment. Their nets were their own. Their nets were their connection to community and family and everything they thought they knew.
Then this craziness happened. Some supposedly random guy stops them in the middle of their fishy tracks and gives them a huge wake up call. “Give it up,” he says. “Give it all up and come with me.”
That is some major courage. I want that courage. The courage to not just rearrange the priorities in my life — but to actually dismantle everything I thought I knew about the world and my life and follow. Follow a calling to something bigger than myself. Follow a calling that is risky and requires some major faith. Follow a calling that makes me wrestle with the depths of my very own soul. I want that courage to follow.
What nets do you have that need to be put down? Are you ready to follow?