Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
Follow me. Those are the two simple words Jesus offered repeatedly to those who would become His disciples. It wasn’t an invitation to believe or know, though belief and knowledge would certainly come. Follow me. It was an invitation to relationship—to community with Jesus and with one another.
This is a simple invitation, but it isn’t a one time call. Even after we say “yes” to Christ and follow Him for salvation, we must also respond by following Him day to day. And we don’t follow Him alone. Because there are days and seasons of our lives when following Him feels like the hardest thing to do. It is then that we need fellow followers to help us walk. The disciples left everything they knew behind—their livelihood, their families, and whatever predictability they once had. But even as they stepped into the unknown of following Jesus, they did so together. As they left behind familiarity, they gained an extended family.
We don’t know all the ins and outs of the disciples’ lives with Jesus. But undoubtedly there were hard days. There were days where some or possibly all of them doubted what Jesus was doing. There were experiences they could not understand in the moment. There were days of going without and trusting Jesus would provide. There were moments of astounding miracles and unbelievable healings. They were able to bear witness to these things together. For the moments of darkness, doubt, or despair, they could encourage and uphold one another. For the moments of great celebration and joy, they could rejoice together. The same is true for us as brothers and sisters in the faith. We were not made to walk through this life alone. Our faith is individual, but is not isolated. As we respond to Christ’s “Follow Me,” we are also called to join others who are following Him.
- When did you first respond to Jesus’ “follow Me”? Who is following Jesus alongside you?
- How does Jesus’ invitation inform your daily life? How does it inform the way you make decisions? How do you follow the Spirit’s leading in your life?
- Thank God for His invitation to follow Him in Christ. Thank Him for the example and companionship of Jesus. Ask Him for direction about how you can better walk alongside those He has placed on the path with you.