“Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. 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.’ They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed” (Matthew 4:18-20).
Today at The Church at Avenue South, Aaron Bryant spoke on Matthew 4:18-22 where Jesus told Peter and Andrew, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
I understand what they gained by following Jesus, but I don’t think I had ever really thought about all that they gave up.
Think about it. They walked away from the only livelihood they had ever known. They even walked away from their own father who was in the same fishing boat. There is no mention of any goodbyes or see you laters. They simply dropped their nets and followed Jesus, leaving everything else behind with no questions asked.
Aaron asked the question: what would you give up that might hinder you from fully following Jesus to wherever He wanted you to go?
He talked about David and Hannah, a couple who sold every bit of their furniture and moved into some friends’ apartment in view of a calling to missions in Northern Italy. They gave up good careers, extended family, and the comforts of the American middle class lifestyle because they felt Jesus calling them to go to a place where less than .1% of the population claims to be evangelical Christians.
I’ve asked myself if I could do that. I hope so. I do love my stuff. I love my family. I love where I live. Above all, I love the familiarity and comfort of where I live.
Still, I hope that I could give it all up if Jesus asked me to. Thankfully, I’m not given strength for the what-ifs and the could-bes. I believe that if the situation arose, Jesus would give me the courage and strength to lay it all down. That’s part what it means when people say that Jesus doesn’t call the equipped but equips the called. Part of that equipping means the ability to press forward and not look back to what you’re leaving behind.
In the end, though, we really never give up anything for the cause of Christ. I remember the words of one of my heroes, Jim Elliott, who said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”