THOUGHTS FROM MATTHEW

January 17

Text: Matthew 4:18-22

And walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.  And He *said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."  And they immediately left the nets, and followed Him.  And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them.  And they immediately left the boat and their father, and followed Him. (NASB)

If the Gospel of Matthew was our only source, some people might argue that these four men followed Jesus as the result of an impetuous choice based on a spur of the moment decision.  The Gospels of Mark (1:14-20) and Luke (5:1-11) indicate Jesusí ministry was well under way when he issued this call to these four men.  It seems likely that these men had heard Jesus and witnessed his deeds prior to Jesusí call.  While they were Galileans (not trained in a Jerusalem environment/school; see Acts 2:7 and 4:13), they quickly committed themselves to a full time following of Jesus.

Consider some things.  They had formed a definite, positive impression of Jesusí identity and the source of his message.  They acted promptly and sacrificially on their understanding.  (We know they did not retreat from their decision.)  Though they were not educated in the way other Jewish leaders were, Jesus made excellent use of these menís abilities.  Note that the faith of the individual plus the sacrifice of the individual plus the ability of the individual plus Jesusí guidance and teachings equals incredible usefulness to Godís purposes.  Their human usefulness developed over time through the involvement of God.  The result: Godís purposes were achieved through their surrender and service. 

Suggestion for reflection: How are Godís purposes served through your abilities?  (Read 1 Timothy 1:12-16.)

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