Jesus Calls His First Disciples
In Matthew 4:17, the public ministry of Jesus is introduced with the words, “From then on, Jesus began to preach, ‘Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near’” (NLT). However, Jesus was not only a public preacher reaching out to the masses; his ministry was also profoundly personal. In today’s passage, we encounter Jesus as the disciple-maker.
We see Jesus here in his familiar environment, “walking by the Sea of Galilee,” and that is where he encountered two individuals (v. 18). Like each one of us, these two individuals had their own distinctive identity. How Jesus called his first disciples is a deeply personal story, and so we learn about their social identity (they were brothers), their names (Simon and Andrew), and their occupation (they were fishermen).
Is this not also how Jesus found us when he called us? God does not call us as an anonymous number within a large group of people; rather, He calls us as individuals who have their own sense of identity. When we meet another person for the first time, we usually say our name and then often continue with a follow-up question like, “So, what do you do for a living?” We look for opportunities to tell other people our names, our jobs, and maybe also something about our family. After all, this is who we are, and we want the other person to get to know us. Jesus knows us better than anybody else; yes, even better than we know ourselves – and in the midst of our very personal circumstances, his call comes to us to follow him.
Praise the Lord that …
· he knows you personally and that He will meet you where you are
· God is interested in you, calling you by name to listen to His voice and to follow Jesus
Pray that …
· you would be able to recognize God’s voice more and more
you will have the courage to respond in obedience