“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,”Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him. “
Imagine these hardworking fisherman doing their everyday when Jesus showed up at the water’s edge, peering at them across the boat’s bow. Certainly they would have heard about him and the things he had been doing, would have heard about John and his preaching about this Man. There was great anticipation of Messiah at that time, and likely they would have felt it. But still, they’re working stiffs, just making a living on the sea.
What must have gone through their minds to make them drop everything right then? In their minds did they ask any questions like, “Follow you where?” or “To do what?” or “For how long?” If they did, they didn’t verbalize them; they just went. And this happens not once but twice outside the nondescript fishing village of Capernaum.
If you continue reading, verse 21 indicates the answers to the “where” question: they went into the town, their town, and ended up at the synagogue on the Sabbath. So at that moment, they didn’t go far. They just went to their own people, their own community.
Jesus continues to issue the same call down through the centuries. He calls us out of our status quo and into the lives we are already living but to live as He shows us, follow as He leads, and wherever that may be.
Jesus didn’t advertise anything except what He would make of them – something new and better that drew on the knowledge and gifts they already had. He said nothing about how easy it would be or how much success they could expect, or even where they would go or for how long…no details…
Just ‘ Follow me, and I will make you…”
Are we prepared to follow with so few details laid out?
Probably not. It’s hard to sign on to a question mark.
In the movie Blast From the Past, a young man who has lived his whole life in a fallout shelter because of his father’s mistaken belief that an atomic bomb had gone off in their neighborhood, leaves the shelter to explore the world that has gone on without him. He finally gets acclimated to the truth and plans a surprise gift for his parents. He returns to the shelter to ask them to wait for 2 more months while he makes preparations but doesn’t explain his plan. When the parents object that they don’t understand, the son replies, “..and I’m asking you to trust me without understanding.” To this the parents immediately reply, “Then of course we will.”
The suggestion was that his parents had many times, as parents used to, said this to him when he had asked for information they chose to withhold at the time because he was too young or otherwise not ready for it.
These days, we are “information-spoiled.” We are so accustomed to having almost limitless information at our fingertips that we cannot tolerate the withholding of any information or explanation we want. We demand explanations as our right, and when we don’t get them, we scream injustice or simply take our toys and go home.
A response like the one above – ‘of course we’ll trust you without understanding’ – is nearly impossible to utter. If there is a why, we must know it. If it isn’t provided when we demand it, we become practical or actual atheists – insisting there cannot be a why so there cannot be a God, or He is not trustworthy if He doesn’t reveal it when we think He should.
But scripture challenges us to have this kind of childlike faith that willingly trusts the fatherly love of the one who knows and chooses to withhold the explanations we want until He knows we are ready to receive them. This pushes us to decide, to respond to a calling that demands something of us.
Jesus called his disciples away from their lives as usual to something different. He does the same with us.
Are we willing to drop our status-quo lives and follow Him into a place He hasn’t named, into a calling that isn’t clear, to a person whose answer to our demand for details is often just “Trust Me”?
Only when we decide that He is trustworthy…again and again and again.
References: Mark 1:1-20; John 1:32-34; Ps. 2:7; Isaiah 42:1; Heb. 2:18; Heb. 4:15; Matt. 3:1-2
Robin Greenlee is a passionate Bible teacher and mentor who also happens to love business, language, music, travel and the people she encounters with all these. Her vision as a writer began during a college writing assignment, and has given her a voice for connecting with and impacting others.
She enjoys investing in others to help them overcome baggage from their past using the light of the Word of God. As they find healing and growth in the truth, they learn to shine their own lights in the lives of others. She also loves encouraging people to grow in their businesses and careers as a platform for the Gospel.
You can explore more of Robin's writing at www.robinygreenlee.wordpress.com or www.smbcbusinesswomen.wordpress.com or www.enterprisingcommunity.wordpress.com.