by Pastor Joe Pullen

And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed Him. And going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed Him.
MARK 1:17-20, ESV

Ever wanted desperately to change something about yourself? Ever wanted to have a life that was far bigger than you ever imagined it could be? Great news! Today’s Scripture passage speaks about how Jesus invites us to become our fullest, best self so we can join Him in His mission to save the world from sin and evil.

Peter and Andrew were as ordinary as they come: just lowly fishermen trying to eke out a living. They were disciples of John the Baptist and saw the baptism of Jesus. Then one day, as they were fishing, Jesus came and invited them to be His disciples by saying, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” Shortly after Peter and Andrew said yes to Jesus, Jesus invites James and his brother John to follow, and they also say yes.

Jesus’ invitation demonstrates that our relationship with God is one of mutual accountability and differing roles. As disciple-makers, we need to know that when making disciples as Jesus did, there is my part, God’s part, and their part. In this invitation, Jesus the disciple-maker does His part by inviting the men to follow. Their part was starting to follow Jesus. God’s part (via the Holy Spirit) was creating the desire to follow Jesus – and then changing them while they did. It is in the act of following Jesus that the Holy Spirit changes us to become more like Jesus.

Jesus is invitational and He is King. As King, He had the authority to expect those He called to respond fully and immediately. For both pairs of brothers in the scriptures above, their response when Jesus called was “immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” The Holy Spirit helped them see Jesus as King and worthy of fully abandoning their possessions, their work, and their family to follow Jesus without delay.

I want to be more like those men. Peter showed real guts when he left it all behind and went all in with Jesus. Andrew showed through his actions that he knew how fortunate he was to be called by the King. James and John said goodbye to their dad so they could pursue Jesus. Imagine what our church’s impact could be, imagine the joy and fulfillment in your life, and imagine what your relationships would be like if we all consistently responded to Jesus with immediacy and fullness!

Lord, give us hearts like these first disciples to respond to You immediately and completely whenever You speak to us. Help us see You as these first disciples did – to look at You and hear Your words – and know that You are worth all that we have. Give us boldness to live the kingdom purpose You have for us as You change us into fishers of men. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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