Today’s Reading: Matthew 4:12-25
Key Passage: “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.
Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them,
and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4:18-22 (NIV2011)
Can you imagine being Peter or Andrew, James or John? Four fishermen sitting at work, in a place that is familiar to you a place you are comfortable with, even if things were occasionally a bit difficult, then all of a sudden Jesus comes up to you and says “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of people.” How would you react? What would you do?
‘Disciple’ is a word we often misunderstand. We sometimes think it is a word limited to the original twelve men that Jesus chose and taught for three years of his ministry. Those men were disciples, of course, but they weren’t the only ones. The Hebrew term for a disciple is talmid. Talmid is used exclusively of one who gives himself (as a learner) to Scripture and the religious tradition of Judaism. It is derived from lamid which has the idea of training as well as educating. The term occurs only once in the Old Testament (1 Chron 25:8), where it is translated “scholar or pupil.” The term refers to musicians in David’s court. Since musicians learn by practice, or doing, as well as by study, we may conclude that talmid includes practice as well as theory. The term disciple placed much emphasis on doing. To be a disciple was to learn by doing. Discipleship involves intellectual comprehension and practical application. However, a difference exists between a disciple and a pupil. The disciple does more than receive instruction; he embraces the teaching of his teacher.
When Jesus walked the Earth, he was looking for disciples. Disciples drop their own priorities and follow Jesus and His teachings.
To be called a follower of Jesus doesn’t require you to know everything or to be perfect, but it does require you to leave and follow. In verse 19 Jesus doesn’t walk up to Andrew, Peter, James or John and say I am currently testing to see whether you will make good fishers for people. He simply chooses them; He is saying, ’I will show you, I will teach you how to fish for people’ and that is exactly what He does with us. He is consistently showing, constantly teaching, continually transforming us, constantly helping us shine His light into the world. We are always growing and developing as His disciples.
We have been called to be and make disciples. Sharing Jesus’ calling to follow him with our family, our friends, our work colleagues and our community. It requires us to totally rely on Jesus in every situation of our life and to listen to Him.