“As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ And immediately, they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little further, he saw James, son of Zebedee, and his brother John… Immediately he called them, and they… and followed him.” (Mark 1:16-17)
When Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James, and John to follow Him, they were just ordinary guys. They weren’t exceptionally bright or gifted. They hadn’t done anything extraordinary. As we read the gospels, we see just how foolish, fickle, slow, and misguided they often were.
Why did the gospel writers present the disciples in such an unflattering light?
First, because they wanted to tell the truth about them.
Second, they may have also wanted to give encouragement to all future disciples. If Jesus could choose and change the world through such ordinary people, then, He can choose and change the world through ordinary people now.
Even though we need to admit that we’re just ordinary folks, we also need to recognize that Jesus changes us as we follow Him. Jesus loves us enough to accept us just as we are, and He also loves us enough not to leave us that way.
The first four disciples may have seemed ordinary to the world, but to God, they were His precious children, and to Jesus, they were the beginning of His mission to save the world.
Although we’re ordinary, just like the early disciples, I encourage us to remember that we, too, are precious to God. I also encourage us to believe that the more we give our lives to Jesus, the more He can change us just like He once changed them.
If we’re the means to bring all people into God’s saving embrace, we’ll need our extraordinary Savior working through ordinary us to make incredible things happen.
- Do you relate to the ordinary people Jesus once choose to follow Him? If so, how?
- We don’t exactly know why Peter, Andrew, James, and John decided to follow Jesus. How would you describe why you have decided to do so?
- How have you experienced Jesus’s extraordinary power working through your own ordinary and regular life? Where and how do you need His power right now?