“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Mark 1:17
When Jesus heard that king Herod had put John in prison, he went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. The time has come, the people must hear, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 4:17). Mark added to this invitation, “Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)
It is here, in Galilee, that Jesus called his first disciples. Four men, fishers by occupation were fishing when Jesus called them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) Bystanders must have been dumbstruck. After all, it was unheard of for a teacher, following the correct interpretation of the Jewish law, to personally invite a student to become his follower (disciple). It was customary that a potential student approached a teacher of his choice to teach him the Law. But now they met One who invited them to learn how to become fishers of men from him directly! A learning process that had nothing to do with the interpretation of the Law, but with lost people who had to be fished out from the stormy waters of life!
This prospect of a new course inspired Simon (also called Peter) and his brother Andrew to leave their father, their nets and their boat at once, and follow Jesus without looking back. They saw something bigger – a great light had dawned. One that drove away darkness and twilight, the shadow of death. The light was visible and the light had risen, at last! Only then they understood the metaphor, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:15-19) A reality locked up in man’s faith in Jesus Christ!
They understood: As fishers of men, the responsibility to shine the Light of Life, Jesus Christ, in darkness, thus bringing people safely to shore, rested on their shoulders as well as on those of every future believer.
Do you realise that Jesus took initiative to call you and me to Him? Why? So that we can live and work with Him in His presence daily. And can also be part of his fishing team that leads people to Jesus by proclaiming the Gospel of repentance and faith in the kingdom of the Lord. To be a disciple means to “Look at Jesus! Listen to Jesus! Learn from Jesus!”, said Peter Waldo, Leader of the Waldensians. And that is precisely what the disciples did. Jesus was their Mentor and Teacher. The question posed to you: Do you operate as one called to lead others to Jesus?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that the Good News of God in Jesus became a reality. And thank you that you enable us to share this news with others. Amen