Daily Thought for: 26th September

THE CALL OF JOHN

Matthew 4. 18-22, Mark 1. 16-20

As Jesus moved from the obscurity of life in Nazareth and entered into public ministry, He carefully chose companions who would help in the work on which He was embarking. These companions would ultimately become the ‘first-fruits’ of a worldwide movement and be greatly used in God’s service. 

The men chosen were not the rich and famous. They were not from the elite political or religious circles in Israel. Instead, Jesus chose men from the lower stratum of society, men who were intelligent, hard-working and willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of the gospel. 

John lived and worked in the town of Capernaum. He was a fisherman, earning his livelihood on the Sea of Galilee. He worked with his father Zebedee, his brother James and partners Simon and Andrew. His life was radically and irrevocably changed when Jesus called him (and James, Simon and Andrew) to leave their jobs, for the vital work of winning souls for heaven. 

It is interesting to note that Jesus did not choose idle people. These men were engaged in work, with John doing the job of mending nets, without which no fishing could be done. They were being faithful in the menial tasks of life and were called by the Lord to higher service, ‘Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men’. 

The response was immediate; they left their boats and nets and followed the Lord. They had already met Jesus and heard the testimony of John the Baptist concerning Him; see John 1. So they had some knowledge of the uniqueness of Jesus, and on this basis they were willing to take the life-transforming decision to follow Him. They had no clear idea of where He would lead them, but they trusted Him and allowed no family ties, material concerns or future difficulties to divert them from the most important decision which any of them ever made. 

John, as one of the first disciples, witnessed many wonderful works performed by the Lord and heard marvellous words from His lips. He grew in devotion and was a dedicated servant of the living God. As Christians we have made the decision to follow the Lord, but our faith should grow into full commitment. 

 

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