ODJ: “Follow Me!”

May 15, 2016 

READ: Matthew 4:18-25  

Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him (vv.19-20).

Every year, hundreds of boys aged 3 to 8 play rugby in a tournament held across South Africa. Though it’s a tamer version of the adult game, children and parents still take it pretty seriously. For this is where a passion is forged for one of the most popular sports in South Africa. Young boys dream of one day playing for the national team. As they get older, however, the competition gets tougher and only the very best will play for the Springboks—the nation’s top squad.

Brothers Peter and Andrew had a fishing business (Matthew 4:18), but when “Jesus called out to them, ‘Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!’ . . . they left their nets at once and followed him” (vv.19-20). James and John were also fishermen who worked with their father, Zebedee. As they sat in the fishing boat, repairing their nets, Jesus called out to the two brothers and, “they immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind” (v.22).

What makes grown men leave their jobs and family to follow Jesus without question? These men knew who Jesus was—a rabbi with authority! Just as boys in South Africa long to play for the Springboks, some Jewish boys in ancient Israel grew up longing to become a rabbi. But the process was gruelling and only the very best succeeded. Other young Jewish boys pursued vocations such as fishing, carpentry or something else.

When Jesus called the fishermen, “Come, follow me” (v.19), He was calling men who gave up their vocations and more. But these men found, as we have, that they were following the One who proved to be the Son of God. Let us follow Him today and use our whole lives—including our vocations—to point others to Him!

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day plan: Psalm 51:1-19

Read Matthew 9:9 and see Matthew’s response to Jesus’ call. 
Why are you following Jesus? What are you willing to give up in order to fully surrender your life to Him?