Matthew__4

Scripture

Matthew 4: 19-20 (NIV)

19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
 

Observation

 
Jesus is in a state of regrouping and evaluation after learning that John has been put in prison. He’s been fasting (for forty days!), He’s been tempted, He’s been preaching, He is tired. Despite this while on a stroll He is actively looking for men who are willing to follow Him.
 

Understanding

When Jesus does speak, our first response better be to obey, and to obey immediately.

Ironically, my last post was about resting in the waiting. However, God ultimately doesn’t stay silent forever. Most of the time when He speaks He requires an action out of us. We must be willing to respond with first-time obedience! Simon and Peter easily could’ve questioned Jesus and He would’ve moved on. The Message translation puts it like this:

Matthew 4:20 (MSG)

They didn’t ask any questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.

“Dropping their nets” was equivalent to dropping their livelihood, dropping everything they knew, dropping their only stability. They were willing to give it up for someone they didn’t even know. When God called, they were willing and eager to answer. We know God’s heart for us and people, we know that God has plans and futures for every one of our lives. Yet we hold onto reservations that are otherwise unfulfilling in the place of an action God has called us to. If we want to get out of the waiting we have to be willing to move. God is asking for first-time obedience, not sloppy seconds, or thrashed thirds; He wants us to respond the first time! Drop your nets, I promise you it’s better wherever Jesus is. Now more than ever God is looking for a people who will stand before the world and declare that they are fishers of people. Listen for the call, answer the call, and act on the call. He’s not going to ask us more than once. At times we know the answer because He’s already told us, yet He graciously reminds us hoping we’ll act.
 
Life Application

Matthew 16:24 (NIV)

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

Now is as good as time as any to drop our nets, and take up our cross. I want to respond obediently the first time, and I pray for strength to do this. I pray for a courage to leave everything behind for eternal life in a world beyond this one. We can do this!

-Allison Khan