A Year With Jesus: Matthew 4:12-25
Note: I HIGHLY recommend you watch Andy Stanley’s sermon Fish Tricks to receive further insight into this passage. In fact, anything smart I say was probably taken from him!
In American Evangelism we place a high value on “saving souls”. I don’t think this is inherently a bad thing, but it can become dangerous. I’ve heard stories of people feeling pressured by their church to present the Gospel to X number of people a week. For them, it’s all about getting as many people as possible to “cross the line of faith” so that they’ll stay out of hell and go to heaven one day. They want people to take giant leaps. Jesus is only asking for small steps.
As Jesus begins his public ministry, he doesn’t talk about going anywhere. “The kingdom of heaven has come near,” he says. Jesus was bringing heaven to earth, and he began inviting people to join him in that.
Jesus is walking along the Sea of Galilee and he sees Peter and Andrew fishing. He calls out to them, “Follow me!” and they drop everything and do. But why? Well, Matthew only gives us a small part of the story. If you want the full context of the story, I would again recommend watching that Andy Stanley video.
Jesus simply asked these fishermen to follow him. Not to believe in him. Not even to trust him. But simply to follow him, and see what a life following him would lead to.
The word follow is important, but perhaps more important is the word me. I think today people get confused about what is really at the center of Christianity…
It’s not about following a certain pastor.
It’s not about following a certain political party.
It’s not about following a list of rules.
It’s not even about following the Bible.
It’s about following Jesus, and seeing where it leads.
And man, from the moment these nobody fishermen followed him, they were in for a wild ride.
Jesus went all over Galilee. There he taught in the synagogues. He preached the good news of God’s kingdom. He healed every illness and sickness the people had. News about him spread all over Syria.
They saw him teach like no other. They saw him heal like no other. And they saw him love like no other. And it was only the beginning of the adventure.
Questions to Ponder:
Why do you think Peter and Andrew decided to follow Jesus?
Do you think it’s possible for someone to follow Jesus while still having doubts about him?
Please feel free to leave a comment!