As [Jesus] walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-19)
Walking along the Sea of Galilee was one of the great blessings during our trip to Israel. Whereas so many of the Holy places seemed crowded with vendors and commotion, the Sea of Galilee was tranquil and pristine.
On the day we were there, I broke away from the group. I wanted to be on the shore by myself.
Sitting there with the sun glinting on the water, I read the story of how the Jesus movement began.
I wanted to understand this: Why would Peter and Andrew—and eventually all the rest—leave everything they did and everyone they knew to follow Jesus? What was there about Jesus that compelled them to drop their nets and walk away from their previous lives to be with Him?
I believe that when they looked at Jesus, they had never seen anyone more real and more alive. I believe that when Jesus looked at them, they had never felt so seen, so known, and so loved. I believe that when Jesus said, “Follow me,” they had never heard anything more thrilling.
Sometimes our walk with Jesus gets long and tiring. Sometimes our faith can grow dull or flat.
If your conviction to follow Jesus has become rather flat, or if your faith has grown rather listless, I encourage you to go back to your own Sea of Galilee moments—that is, those times when Jesus came to you. You knew that He was the most real, the most loving, and the most thrilling person you had ever met and would ever meet.
Walking along the Sea of Galilee was, as I said, a great blessing to me. When we remember and reclaim our own Sea of Galilee moments, our blessings abound.
- Why do you think Peter and Andrew dropped their nets, dropped their lives, and dropped their commitments to follow Jesus?
- Have you ever felt that Jesus was the most real, most loving, and most thrilling person you had ever met and would ever meet? If so, when?
- To follow and be with Jesus, the disciples had to drop their nets and former lives. In your own following and being with Jesus, are there some things you need to drop? If so, what?