I am so inspired by how Jesus chose His disciples. He saw. And He invited them to follow Him.
“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.” Matthew 4:18-22 NKJV
Intrigued by this, I looked up the word “saw” in Greek, and discovered that this word is “horao” in Greek, and one of its meaning is ‘to see with the mind, to perceive.’ That’s exciting. Jesus saw with His mind what these brothers could become. He saw beyond the physical. He had a vision for them.
In the natural He saw that they were fishermen, but He saw that in reality they were fishers of men. And He made the transformation happen. They didn’t “make themselves.” He called them, and He equipped them.
May we receive that Jesus sees us like this. He sees beyond the natural. He sees what you can be. He believes in you, and He invites you on a journey together with Him.
Has He whispered something to your heart? That you’ll be a preacher one day? Or a leader? A pastor? How and when you will transform into what He sees, leave that to Him. Just like He told Peter and Andrew that He would make them fishers of men, He will make you into whatever you need to be. Your part is to look to Him, spend time with Him, and you’ll be transformed into the same image.
May we be people who see Jesus, meaning that we are conscious of His Presence with us 24/7. May we see ourselves the way He sees us, loved, righteous and whole in Him. May we see others the way He sees them, like His beloveds. May we see beyond the natural, and see potential where there seemingly is none – be this in people, in places, in venues, at work…
Invited to Follow
Jesus then He called them to follow Him. We often wonder, ‘What’s God’s call on my life? What’s my calling?’ – These verses bring great perspective to this. One of the meanings of the Greek word “called” is to “invite.” God’s calling is God’s invitation. And what is the invitation? It is simply to follow Jesus. So beautiful. So simple.
So, what does it mean when Jesus said “Follow Me?”
The meaning of “follow” is “come.” Come to Me.
Sounds familiar? It’s actually the same word that is used in Matthew 11:28: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
The awesome thing is that when the passage says that the disciples “followed Him”, another Greek word is used. This word means “to be in the same way with, i.e. to accompany.” When we come to Him, He brings us on an adventure together with Him.
Just like the disciples, we are invited to come to Him – just the way we are, with our burdens, our questions, our confusion – and He is rest to us. He takes our burdens, and gives us His: Love. A burden to love people. And if we allow Him, He gets to love people in our world through us.
To start this adventure with Jesus, they actually left something behind. Peter and Andrew left their nets. James and John left their father and their boat.
And I love how they did so ‘immediately.’ They didn’t need to sleep over it, pray over it, figure things out etc. ‘Immediately’ they left and followed. This is trust. This is the beauty of this ‘Jesus-invitation.’ It empowers us to step out of the old and into the new.
This word “left” in Greek (aphiēmi) means to cry, forgive, forsake, lay aside, leave, let (alone, be, go, have), omit, put (send) away, remit, suffer, yield up. It is even used of a husband divorcing his wife. – It’s really letting go of what we’re familiar with, the life we used to live, the comfort zone, the expectations; and stepping into the new, taking one step at the time on the adventure together with Jesus.
‘Letting go’ might be emotionally challenging – because we know what we had, but we don’t know what we will have. But accompanying Jesus is oh so rewarding! He is faithful.
These two sets of brothers became Jesus’ disciples and were later entrusted the mission of spreading the Good News about Jesus to the whole world – and it’s continuing to spread!
Talk about leaving a legacy.
I pray that we dare to leave behind the things (good or bad) that we need to leave behind, in order to move forward and live the life Jesus has invited us to live together with Him.