“As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea – for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.” (Matthew 4:18-22)
Jesus is calling you to follow him today. Everything that has happened in your life, good and bad, has helped to prepare you to hear his call and to respond. Nothing can prevent you from following him if you choose to respond to his call. It is the decision of your own will, your intention, that determines your response. You are free to say “yes” or to say “no” in the present moment of your life.
Jesus has died for your sins and for the sin of the whole world. It is only God’s grace, God’s unconditional love, which makes discipleship possible. God is offering you unlimited love, mercy, and patient kindness. He is offering you salvation, and not just in the hereafter. He is offering you salvation from a half-lived life in the present moment. He sees you just as you are, right now; he loves you, just as you are; and he calls you: “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”
To choose to follow Jesus is to begin a journey from willfulness to willingness. The first disciples were going about their daily work, doing what they had always done – and probably “doing life” pretty well. They were making a living, repeating the life-patterns which they had inherited. They had a good life, with their families, and their goal was to get what they needed to make their life better. Then Jesus offered them a different vision of the meaning and true purpose of their lives: “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”
To say “yes” to Jesus’ call required those fishermen to be willing to let go of anything and everything that kept them from following in the present moment. Jesus was not waiting; he was moving on. He was not asking them to tell him what they were willing to be or to do as disciples. Neither is he asking you; instead, he is calling you to lay down your nets and follow him, so that he can make you into someone who shares in the saving work of Jesus: “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” You can say “yes” to his call, in every unfolding present moment of your life, and the first step is to surrender willfulness for the sake of willingness.
Grace and peace,
Trinity United Methodist Church
3430 Harrison | Beaumont, TX 77706
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