As Jesus walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he called four fishermen to abandon the only life they had known in order to follow him. Jesus called these four men to follow and he would make them fishers of men. At the time they had no idea what this meant. They had no idea what the journey would entail. Yet they heard the call to follow and left everything behind.
Jesus knew the journey he was on. He knew he was headed for Jerusalem and the cross, a journey that would lead to his death and resurrection. Jesus knew it was God’s intention that he offer his life as the atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world. He also knew that following his departure from earth, the church would be the means used by God to tell the world the good news of salvation.
Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John to follow him. Just as it was with the rest of the apostles, our Lord called them to come behind him and learn from him the ways of the Father. In order to build such a church they would need to learn what it meant to cast nets into the world and bring people to faith and understanding of the gospel. They had no idea what the journey would entail, but as it unfolded they became witnesses to the mighty acts of God made manifest in Christ. Once they witnessed it all, Jesus’ miracles, his teaching, his crucifixion and resurrection, they would have the tools necessary to begin fishing for men and building the church.
In Mark’s gospel we read how John preached a message of repentance that the world may prepare to receive the Messiah. Once the world had heard this news, Jesus followed John with a new message; “The kingdom of God is at hand.” Jesus then called the apostles to follow him with the good news of the gospel; “Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ; he is the son of God.” The apostles followed Jesus and built the church. And now the church follows the apostles in their proclamation of the gospel that the entire world might turn to Christ and be saved.
Jesus says, “Follow.” Follow and become like him; follow and learn the ways of God. Follow Christ and become fishers of people in order to bring the message of faith, hope and love into the hearts of people so that all might hear and believe the good news of God’s salvation. Follow his example of righteousness and live into the kingdom of God both now and forever.