And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
We have to leave some things behind if we’re going to follow Jesus. We can’t take all that we used to be with us. This journey with Him is going to require some changes and some growth. It’s about more than leaving our sin behind, but we leave behind our old identities that identified so much with the world. We leave behind our old ambitions and serve the cause of Christ instead. We leave behind our old lifestyle. And just as these disciples left behind their nets, we let go of who we used to be so Jesus can make us into something more.
Surely it was an intense experience for these fishermen who left behind their nets that day to follow Jesus. They saw so many amazing things. They heard His preaching and teaching. They experienced miracles and tragedy, love and loss, pain and rebuke but also joy and peace. It was a rough walk sometimes, a tiresome one, a difficult one. But it was, more than anything, the best thing that could have happened to them. They were the inner circle—there for the transfiguration, the raising of Lazarus, the last supper, the arrest of Jesus, those amazing moments recorded in Scripture and those other unwritten moments spent with Jesus.
When Jesus calls us to come after Him, how can we ever resist that chance? What is our life as a Christian but just walking with Jesus day by day? And there the fellowship is sweet. There the burden is light as He carries it with us. There the labor is done out of love. There the cause is right and the purpose is just. There the things we do have meaning. There we are witnesses to the working of God and the power of God.
Our lives following Jesus are about those spectacular moments and the mundane everyday ones that add up to a life lived for Him. It’s about those mountaintop highs and the lows of the valleys. It’s about growing our faith and learning lessons and serving how He asks. It’s about being molded in His hands, conformed to His image, filled with His Spirit and shining for Him. So let’s leave those nets where they lie and simply follow after Jesus.