So this morning on the way to work I started studying Matthew 4 v18 – 22. Please don’t worry, I’m not reading and driving! I’ve been trying to be more deliberate in spending time with God, particularly on the way to work. I’ve started listening to verses and trying to see what God is saying to me through the word.
18 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. 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.
21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
In these verses we see Jesus approaching fishermen. They were casting their net’s into the lake and you could argue that they were in the middle of doing something. During this time Jesus calls them and says ‘come follow me’. Jesus explains to them that they will fish for people. Straight away they left their nets and joined Jesus.
In the verses afterwards again we see that Jesus approaches James and John. Jesus calls to these people and again, they stop what they were doing and they left their boat and their father to follow him.
There are two challenges that are shown from this scripture. The first is to do with our busy lives and ‘fitting’ Jesus in. In both of these examples, no matter what these people were doing, they stopped and went for Jesus. In our day to day lives, how often to we stop what we’re doing and listen to the holy spirit? How often have you stopped what you’re doing to worship Jesus?
Now the thing that’s important here is that there are many ways in which we can show worship to Jesus. We can worship Jesus through our actions. When you think of the mercy that has been shown to us, how much more merciful can we be to those around us? Have you seen someone who is a broken man or woman and stopped what you were doing to go and help them out? As a teacher I’ve been in the middle of marking before and have put myself under so much pressure with it. I must get this done before I go home! Recently I’ve had to stop on a number of occasions because I could feel the spirit just saying, something isn’t right with this person. I want you to think about it in the long run, the more love we show to people the more they’re likely to ask what we have. These acts of kindness for the right reasons is like our ‘net’ of love. It brings people closer to Jesus. For this reason, we need to be more deliberate in stopping what we’re doing and just listening.
The second challenge in this verse is that it highlights how important Jesus is in comparison to our earthly father. As if it isn’t already important that we stop what we’re doing to follow Jesus, it’s repeated again in a similar situation but then Matthew drives it right home by showing that these fishermen even left their father to follow Jesus.
How tight do we hold onto our earthly family? Would we be willing to leave them for Jesus?
These are all questions to challenge us and to meditate on. In my own life I’m finding that God has challenged me about holding onto relationships too closely. He’s shown me that I should be chasing him first and He’s helped me come away from social media to do this. I have a balance in place which puts him first and I’m so much more peaceful for it.
I pray that as children of God we all learn to drop everything and go running after Jesus. I pray that we have the strength to prioritise Jesus and his love he has for us. I pray that we’re able to put boundaries in place which help us stay focussed on Him.