You probably remember that some of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen by background. In fact, several were fishing at the moment when Jesus called them. "’Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men.’" Do you remember what their response was? Here it is: The Bible says, “At once they left their nets and followed him” (Mark 1:17-18).
Dr. Joseph Stowell, in his book Following Christ, points out that we too have nets we need to leave in order to follow Christ. Nets represent anything in our lives that we value more than we value God. Sometimes we’re so tangled in these nets that we find them hard to leave in order to follow Christ.
For instance, it’s a bit of a silly example, but I find it very relaxing to do puzzles of various kinds. Nothing wrong with that, right? But what if doing puzzles consumes so much time I never get around to stopping by to visit my needy neighbor?
Dr. Stowell says, “Every time I refuse to drop a net—every time I refuse to…change a pattern of living because of something I treasure more—I tell Christ where He stands in my life.”
Ouch! That really strikes home, doesn’t it? We don’t want to let go of anything. We want Jesus—and everything else in life as well. If we’re really to follow Him, however, we have to make choices—how we use our time, our money, our energies. But truly following Christ means our lives will have significance that they would otherwise never have.
Dr. Stowell concludes, “Because the disciples dropped what they had thought was the best way to spend their lives and took up Christ’s way, you and I sit here redeemed. Only heaven will reveal the full results of the lives of these early disciples who became non-negotiated followers of Christ.”
Question: What nets do you need to drop in order to more fully follow Christ?
Joseph M. Stowell, Following Christ(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1966), 148.