And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. [Matthew 4:18-20]
Jesus used two simple words to compel Peter and Andrew, his brother, to drop everything and follow Him. Why would they pick up and leave their livelihoods behind? Is it because Jesus spoke to them about something they understood — fishing which they could comprehend? Could it be that the seeds of salvation had already been planted? Let’s take a look at the first encounter between Jesus, Andrew and Peter, which takes place in the gospel of John chapter 1:35-41.
Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).
During this initial encounter Andrew hears John the Baptist proclaim Jesus as the Lamb of God. Immediately they followed Him, and were invited to come and see where He was staying. During this more intimate encounter, Andrew was persuaded that Jesus was the Messiah. When Peter came into the presence of the Lord, he was changed by a prophetic declaration. So now we can see why they drooped everything and followed Him, when Jesus said “Follow Me”.
How do you respond to His voice? Do you drop everything and follow Him when He says “Follow Me”? The model that we see in this text relates to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 — I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. John the Baptist planted, Andrew watered and God gave the increase, which made the call of Jesus to “Follow Me” enough, because God was at work in them. Peter would go on to become the Chief Apostle.
So it is, with each of us, as some plant, and others water, then God gives the increase. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God building [1 Corinthians 3:9] We each have a role to play in God’s field. Are you planting? Are you watering? For we know that God is faithful in giving the increase.
I pray that someone would hear the Lord say “Follow Me” because of your labor in God’s field today.
Follow Rev. Bob Oliver on Facebook at fb.com/reach1more or on Instagram @reach1more.