Story: The First Disciples
In the Book of Matthew, Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee when he walked by a pair of fishermen named Simon (later named Peter) and his brother Andrew. Jesus told them to cast their nets aside and said that he would train them to be fishers of men. They got up and began to follow him. After walking more, they came across another pair of fishermen. Their names were James and John and Jesus called out to them and they left their father and gear and followed Jesus.
For the disciples, their lives weren’t the only things they had to give up. They had to lay down their own desires and listen to what Jesus told them. This may sound like it is too much, but Jesus made it this way for a reason: If they only thought about their personal desires, they would spend more time caring for themselves, rather than other people.
These men had never met or seen Jesus before, yet he called to them and they left their lives to follow Jesus and become disciples. They weren’t the only disciples to leave it all behind. Matthew, a tax collector well established in his life, left his booth when Jesus called to him.
Take a look at this encounter in Matthew chapter 19
This is the story of a rich ruler coming to Jesus hoping to follow him. He followed the commandments well but Jesus told him he must sell his possessions and give all of it to the poor. The man ran in grief because he owned so much and was unwilling to part with it.
It‘s hard to give up our wants and desires to follow God.
We sympathize with the ruler because we live in a world where it is part of the culture to chase possessions and to obtain status and notoriety.
It is when we decide to commit our lives to God that we set aside our desires for ourselves and set out to follow his plan for us.
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21