I was reading Luke 5 today & came across a story that has (obviously) been there all along but I saw it in a different light today. Simon Peter, James, & John had been working all night to try to catch fish, to no avail. But Jesus, after teaching the people, told Simon to take him out & let down his nets. Simon at first protested, but then said, “Okay… well, since you told me to I will.” When he put out his nets, he caught so many fish that he had to get James & John to row their boat out & help him pull them in. When the fish were pulled in, their boats began to sink cuz there were so many fish! So what happens next? After realizing how sinful they were & asked Jesus to go away from them, Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” Then they pulled the boats to the shore, left everything, and followed Jesus.
Now why did I just recap everything that happened? If Jesus had asked the 3 to follow him before the whole fish incident, they may have done it. It may even have been easier. They didn’t feel sinful yet, they just heard great teachings from Jesus, and they didn’t have any fish/money to fall back on since their night wasn’t so successful. But now that Jesus had exposed their doubt/sin, and they had probably hundreds of dollars (or whatever) worth of fish they just caught, I can imagine it may have been harder to leave. But they saw Jesus was real. They saw he was worth it.
When things are going good, and we have no reason not to follow Jesus, we can do it a lot easier. But when we have things to fall back on – money, family, etc. – it will take more purpose, sacrifice, or surrender to follow him. Am I willing to leave everything when I have so much going for me? If Jesus called you to pack up & move, getting rid of all your earthly things that tie you down, would you do it? Peter, James, & John did. I think they’d tell us that it was definitely worth it.
P.S. – Can you imagine all those people that just heard Jesus speak? They were out at the Sea of Galilee, probably hungry, and then those 2 boats FULL of fish were just left! I bet they had a feast that day…