“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.”
What did it mean when Jesus strolled the shore of Lake Galilee
and call those men to serve Him without reservation? Well, in
one way or another, it meant a complete surrender to Jesus.
When they heard Him say, “‘If any want to become my followers,
let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me'”
(Mark 8.34), they eventually learned that He meant it.
For most of them, it meant dying for the Lord. We all know from
Foxe’s Book of Martyrs that all of the original Apostles, second
edition (with Matthias), except John went to a martyr’s death.
Thomas, not realizing the full impact of what he was saying, said
it correctly when he said in John chapter eleven, “‘Let’s go back
to Judea, so we may die with Him.'”
Yet, we have to ask today, what does it mean when Jesus says,
“‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people'”? Is there any
the real meaning behind Jesus’ own words, “‘If any want to become
my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross
and follow Me'” for us today? Do we really believe this or have
Christ’s own words simply become a romanticized exercise in a
formulaic religious contemplation for today’s 21st Century North
In truth, we have to come to terms with the reality that if we don’t
really believe He means what He says in these Mark passages,
then, in fact, we are denying the truth and efficacy of God’s Word.
As one of my teachers along the way said, “We´re professing
believers; but in fact, we´re practical atheists.”
The good professor was blunt but brutally true. When it comes
to obeying the Word of God, we don´t do too well with the
passages requiring personal sacrifice.
Folks, this must change. If we’re ever to realize the depth and
the beauty of a vital relationship with our Lord, we have to let go and
be willing to trust Him with ALL of His Words.
Are we willing to do that?
If not, then our practical doubts are going to rob us of the very
meat and meaning for which we deeply long.