And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
(NKJV. Mark 1:16 – 18. www.blueletterbible.org.)
Sometimes I like to play a game called “What If”, especially when it comes to choices made by people in the Bible. So, what if….Simon had said no to Jesus’ offer to become a fisher of men? Think about it. Simon had a choice just like you and I do. He could have stayed and fished for fish instead of men. What does it mean to fish for men anyway? Strange talk coming from a strange, yet intriguing man named, Jesus.
As a child in Sunday School we learned through the Bible stories and songs that Simon did leave his fishing nets and follow Jesus. In fact, the Bible says that he “immediately left his nets”. Alas, we are no longer children. We are adults and we know that Simon left more than his nets that day. He left all the comforts of home, everything that was familiar to him.
Back to the ‘what if’ question. If Simon had said no, he would have never witnessed water being turned into wine. Never would he have experienced walking on water. He may have never been used by God to heal the lame or cast out demons. Most importantly, his name would have never been changed to Peter, the rock upon which Christ would build His church. Peter would have never preached that infamous message in Acts chapter 2 where 3,000 were added to the church on the day of Pentecost.
Simon could have stayed home with his fishing nets, nothing ventured, nothing gained, but he didn’t.
It is so easy to be comfortable as we surround ourselves with nice things. Day after day we throw our nets out to make a living and go home and live it. What if Jesus were to ask us to leave our nets and follow Him?
Heavenly Father speak to our hearts. Show us what we need to leave in order to follow You. Help us to not be afraid to let go of the familiar and embrace, in faith, the plan You have for us. Amen.
Marita, I enjoyed reading this devotion; nicely done. I was thinking as I read it: "What if Jesus chose not to die for the sins of the world?" Where would that leave us in our search for God and truth. Scary thought...Sincerely, Randy