Jesus didn’t call Simon and the others to a new social experience, He called them to a whole new life. He said:
“Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19 NKJV
…and they immediately left their nets. Even though fishing was the only “world” they knew, they left it for the beginning of an amazing journey. “Following” a rabbi in the first century meant being immersed in the teaching and views of the one you were apprenticing under. It wasn’t just hearing lectures and discussing ideas, it was a process of trying to become just like him…in every way.
The four fishermen probably still talked about fishing every now-and-then. For example, taking note of good-quality fish for sale in the market or telling a story around an evening fire; however, it wasn’t their primary focus anymore, following Jesus was.
In the life of faith, our flesh often wants to keep Jesus simply “near”; having Him present in certain areas like “quiet time”, church activities, and times of crisis. But following isn’t about liking Him, it’s about becoming like Him; and our preferences must give way to His.
Are you struggling today with following in certain areas? Maybe at work, around family or with old friends? His call is still the same, “Follow Me”…and not them.