This week we will focus on what it means to follow Jesus, which is more than simply believing that he is the Son of God; it requires us to center our lives on his teaching. Those who follow Jesus become his disciples and engage in a process of learning a new way of living. One of the first disciples to respond to Jesus’ call to follow him was Simon Peter. Here is his story.
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:1-11)
Pastor John’s Notes:
Following Jesus comes as the result of an encounter with him. It is not merely an intellectual agreement that the teachings of Christ are the most reasonable. Nor is it merely an emotional response to his story. It is a response to a personal encounter. Jesus wants to build a relationship with us, and this can only be done when we hear his call and decide to become his disciple. Jesus wanted Peter to follow him, and so he brought him through an experience that marked the beginning of his new journey. Like Peter, we may not understand the full scope of what responding to the call of Christ will mean for us, but we trust that he is good to all those who follow him.
Lord, let me hear your call. Draw me into a deep and intimate relationship with you. Show me your new way of living, and guide each step I take.