September 28 I Tuesday
“‘Come, follow Me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed Him.” —Matthew 4:19-20
On one occasion, when the crowd was pressing in on Jesus to hear the Word of God, He got onto Simon Peter’s boat and asked him to pull a little from the land because the acoustics of the water would project Jesus’s voice into the crowd. After Jesus finished teaching, He turned to Peter and said, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Peter answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:4-5).
Peter was beginning to learn some things about Jesus and followed His instructions in obedience. We are told, “When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink” (Luke 5:6-7). With both boats sinking under the weight of all the fish, Jesus said, “Come, follow Me, and I will send you out to fish for people” (Matthew 4:19). Jesus set them up for the biggest catch of their lives and then told them, “Now, I want you to follow Me.”
If we put ourselves in Peter’s shoes, we may be tempted to make a request to Jesus asking, “Jesus, if we can just have, you know, a day to sell this fish, it would be fantastic. With this amount of fish, it will keep us going for a very long time.” But on the contrary, “they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him” (Luke 5:11). Upon receiving Jesus’s invitation, Peter, Andrew, James and John left their boats and fish—everything—to follow Jesus.
When Jesus calls us to Him in a true and real discipleship, it involves surrendering things that we would rationalize and say, “Surely I can stay with this.” But following Jesus comes at the cost of self-denial. If we do not pay a price for our discipleship, it will not have a lot of value to us. We will be “in” when it is convenient and “out” when it is not.
Although it may seem like Peter, Andrew, James and John lost the biggest catch of their life, what they gained from following Jesus was worth far more than what two boats of fish can provide. Once lowly fishermen, these men were now privileged to become Jesus’s disciples and were tasked with the mission of fishing for people.
Prayer: Precious Jesus, help me to have the boldness of Peter, Andrew, James and John, where I am able to leave behind the biggest catch of my life and follow You. Thank You, Lord.