January 26

Matthew 4:18-23

“And he said to them, ’Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” vss. 19-20

Matthew’s brief account of the call of Jesus’ first four disciples implies that Simon and Andrew didn’t know Jesus when they made the decision to follow him. In reality, that was likely not the case. In fact the gospel of John tells us that the brothers had been disciples of John and had met Jesus sometime before. We just don’t know the details we’d like to have. What we do know is that when Jesus offered the invitation to follow, they were quick to respond. In Jesus their lives would be given new meaning and purpose. No longer would they be laboring solely to provide food for their families, from now on they would have people as their focus. Their aim would shift from serving self to serving others–and they gladly took up the challenge. We’re still trying to make sense of that transition in our own journeys with Jesus. It’s an invitation that challenges the whole direction and purpose of life. The society and culture tells us emphatically from childhood on that our primary reason for being alive is to make something of ourselves. Every choice we make is designed to position ourselves for ultimate prosperity. And then Jesus says, “Follow me,” and we struggle to find a balance. Not everyone can leave their nets–the lure of the material is powerful. But some do–and their lives are transformed.

Thought for the Day: What would mean to leave our nets?

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