Take Them to the StreetsPosted: June 16, 2009
“And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’ And immediately, they left their nets and followed him.” Mark 1:17-18 (ESV)
I’m captivated by this and I wrestle with it everyday. Jesus did something here that frankly, we just don’t do very well. I don’t know if it’s because we don’t trust Him, we don’t trust the Holy Spirit…I don’t know. But everyday, I wrestle with what Jesus did here with His first followers.
One thing…He didn’t go after the religious elite. In fact, He went in the exact opposite direction. He found uneducated, ordinary guys. Fishermen. When He called them to follow Him, they had no idea who He was, where they were going, what they would do, or why it was important.
But, immediately, they dropped their nets, left everything that was comfortable and known, and followed Him.
And they didn’t even ask the most obvious question beyond those I just mentioned above. “Uhh, Jesus, what the heck does it mean to fish for men? Fish for fish, we got that. But fish for men…we’re a bit confused.” For some reason, it didn’t even matter. They just followed.
Now, here comes the wrestling match for me. What did Jesus do with these uneducated, ordinary guys that left everything they knew to follow Him?
Did Jesus lead them to a classroom and take them through the 10 points of being a disciple? Did he distribute notebooks with fill in the blank outlines and say, “Pay attention and take notes, boys…?”
No. He didn’t take his new, impressionable, uneducated, ordinary followers to the classroom. He took them to the streets.
The next part of Mark 1 finds these new followers listening and watching Jesus as he taught about the Kingdom of God to the crowd gathered in the synagogue in Capernaum. They watched as He cast out a demon and followed as He left the synagogue to heal Simon’s mother in-law. That night, they saw the huge crowd gather and watched as Jesus healed many who were sick. The next morning, they woke up only to find their new leader was already awake and was off by Himself praying. They found Him and followed Him on to the next towns for more preaching, more healing, and more praying.
No classroom. No fill in the blanks. No Survivor Kits.
Jesus skipped the classroom and went to the streets. His new followers learned what it meant to follow Jesus and fish for men by going with Him, watching Him, learning from Him, and then engaging in the work themselves.
What does this say to us who lead churches and attempt to lead people to love, worship, and follow Jesus with their whole lives? What does this say to people who have surrendered their lives to Jesus and now think they have to learn something before they can do anything for Jesus?
That’s where I wrestle. I’ll share some more throughout the week. Would love to hear your thoughts, if you have any on the matter.