Leaving all to follow the Master

7th January 2015

“A little further up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. He called them at once, and they also followed Him. Leaving their father Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.”

 Mark 1:19-20 (NLT)

In today’s passage we see how Jesus calls two other disciples, James and John. Much like Peter and Andrew they were brothers, they were doing their job when Jesus called for them, and surprisingly they too left all to follow Jesus at His command, “HE called them at once, and they also followed Him.” Again we have no evidence that they had seen any miracle or heard any teaching. They just left everything to follow Jesus.

However this passage adds what I think, a very significant detail that separates it from the Peter and Andrew calling. James and John where not only fishing by themselves but were with their father, Zebedee and the hired workers. Much like most Biblical businesses, this was a family run affair. From face value they must have had quite a successful business if they were able to hire workers to assist them. Not only did they have to give up what was probably a successful family business, but they also left their father, who had to rely on his son’s help. Add these all together and verse 20 takes a whole new relevance and significance. For when Jesus called them it seems like there was more to give up.

The significance is not that we are called to abandon our work and disown our families. On the contrary God calls us to be good stewards of our finances and to look after our families. However, the underlying message is that when Jesus calls you, what is holding you back from fully committing your heart to Him. Are you willing to leave everything to follow Him, even if the cost is great? That may not be only physical and material things but also issues of the heart.

Great blessing awaits those who give up all to follow Him!

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