As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
Peter and Andrew were doing what fishermen do–casting their nets–totally oblivious that their lives were about to be changed forever. It’s not like they came barreling up to Jesus. Rather, he saw them, choose them, invited them.
There’s a difference. Think about it this way. It’s one thing to go to a baseball game. But it’s another to be invited by the team’s all-star right fielder to be his special guest in his club suite at the stadium. The first you might not even mention to your friends. But the second would be all over Facebook, texts, email, or whatever means you use to tell people really important stuff that’s happening to you. Going to see a celebrity is one thing. But having the celebrity come to you, seek you out, and invite you to be his guest. That’s pretty incredible. That’s exactly what’s happened in our text. It’s exactly what’s happening to us. Jesus himself said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (John 15:16).
If that had been you on the seashore, would you have possibly thought: “Why me? There are certainly people who seem more fit to be Jesus’ friends and followers. How could he choose me…someone who’s messed up so badly, so consistently, so frequently over the years and decades?”
The answer, of course, is grace. Jesus says, “Follow me” because of grace, undeserved love, and mercy alone. We deserve to hear him say, “Go to hell, the eternal punishment you’ve earned.” But instead, he says, “Come to heaven, the eternal home I earned for you and am giving to you.” We deserve to have him say, “Get away from me.” But instead, he says, “Come follow me.” That is a miracle and we are its stunned and grateful beneficiaries.
Jesus, thank you for the miraculous grace you’ve shown us in calling me to be your disciple. Help me follow you with humble appreciation and heartfelt zeal. Amen.
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