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Casting the Net

“And He said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Matthew 4:19 (ESV)

Series Focus: “Along the Way”

Has anyone ever asked you to do something you’ve never done before? Something that would take you out of your comfort zone, your familiar surroundings, and stretch your abilities beyond what you could imagine. It could be intriguing or maybe intimidating. Depending on how exciting, demanding or dangerous the opportunity might be, one thing is for sure—you better trust the source the “ask” is coming from.

You can get comfortable in your life, your job, or your calling. So comfortable that you stop looking for opportunities to grow, learn, or flourish in other areas. The thought of trading what you know for something you can’t tangibly see or understand won’t cross your mind as a genuine option. Your inability to look beyond the familiar may lead to your missing the extraordinary. Are you willing to live open handed for what may await you?

Two brothers, Simon and Andrew, cast their nets into the Sea of Galilee as they had done day after day after day. They were fishers and woke up each day ready to board their boat and head out to sea—until one encounter changed everything for them. Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, who proclaimed the coming of the Messiah was at hand. One day while Andrew was with John, Jesus passed by, and John said, “Look! the Lamb of God!” (John 1:35-36)

When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” He asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come and see,” He said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). And he brought him to Jesus.
(John 1:37-42)

Even though Andrew and Simon (who Jesus called Peter) met the Messiah, they still got on their boat and continued fishing the next day. Have you ever had an encounter with your Savior that affected you, only to return to your own ways the very next day? Our flesh seems to gravitate to what we have always done, to where we are comfortable, but the Holy Spirit within us pulls us to something greater. Scripture gives us this beautiful moment to reflect upon:

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were 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. (Matthew 4:18-20 NIV)

This encounter would be monumental in both of their lives. Jesus called them intentionally. He had a divine purpose for them and He met them where they were most comfortable—on a boat. They could have kept fishing. They could have, but they immediately left their nets to follow Him. They would spend the next three years following Jesus, watching Him, learning from Him, and eventually teaching others about Him.

It took me well over two encounters to become all in with Jesus. My walk has been anything but “at once” with the Lord. I have needed a lot more coaxing than those two on the boat. How about you? But I am so grateful He called me.

How about you? Has Jesus whispered, “Follow me” in your ear? Has He offered you a different path, or a fresh start? Take His hand sister, get out of the boat and see. He will meet you where you are, with a love unlike any other.

Holding Fast to Hope,

Scripture References: Matthew 4:18-20; John 1:35-42


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