Immediate Response (Faith)
As I’ve already mentioned, the original disciples probably heard whispers of Jesus. John the Baptist was busy preparing the way, and we know from the original timeline that Jesus was baptized, whisked away into the desert of temptation for 40 days, and then He began His ministry. It’s likely the early disciples had some inkling of what was going on.
So, let’s look at the response of Andrew, Simon, James, and John from our Mark 1 passage;
Simon and Andrew, “...immediately they left their nets and followed him.” While James and John, “...left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.”
The gospel of Mark highlights the immediacy with which these disciples responded to Christ’s invitation. In fact, they literally walked off their jobs. Simon and Andrew dropped their nets while James and John left their father standing in the family boat. What an incredible sight.
Can you even imagine walking out of your job to answer the call of Christ? For some here today who have left their jobs to pursue ministry this is a reality. For others this is an example of what it can look like to exercise immediate faith and obedience.
And for the rest of us, who aren’t Jesus, it’s our job to simply extend the invitation to everyone we can. Sometimes, we’ll see fast fruit, sometimes it will take months or even years, and sometimes the fruit won’t be visible to us. Their response is between them and God, but the invitation is something we are called, I might even say commanded, to be a part of…
So drop the nets.
Step off the boat.
And start walking with Christ.
Inviting anyone and everyone to come along for the ride.
It’s the greatest, most amazing and challenging journey that any of us will ever take.
Following Jesus, as many of you know, and as many have learned throughout history, isn’t easy. One author puts it like this;
“My experience with following indicates that it can be even more difficult than leading. Following requires humility, risk, attention, awareness and guts. It means serving someone else’s agenda and following her or his cues. Following requires that I let go of my own way and trail the leader. But everything in me resists trailing behind someone else, especially when I think I can make my own way or lead just as well. Following for any length of time tests both character and steadfastness.” - Adele Ahlberg Calhoun. ‘Invitations from God’
Laying down your agenda, your expectations - hopes - and dreams… it’ll cost you everything. And what do you gain in return? An eternity, a forever family, a divine love and acceptance to give that’s unlike anything this world has to offer.
Drop the nets.
Step off the boat.
Answer the call.
Extend the invitation to others.
Share the good news.