One of my favorite songs in high school was “The Call” by Steven Curtis Chapman. I don’t think it ever made the top ten on Billboard, but it told a powerful story of some fisherman who left their nets on the waters edge. A man named Jesus had called them by name, and with reckless abandon, they walked away from everything they had known including their jobs and their family. The chorus of the songs says, “We will abandon it all for the sake of the call. No other reason, but for the sake of the call. Wholly devoted to live and to die for the sake of the call.”
For most of my life, I have imagined that scene. The sun was just coming up and there were fishermen all along the shores of Galilee. They were beside their boats cleaning their nets, tossing sticks and seaweed to the side. They were talking about the productivity, or lack there of, from the night before, and discussing where they would try tonight. That’s when, in Matthew 4:19, a stranger walked up and calmly said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” They put down their nets and started following Him.
I think I got most of it right, but what I didn’t get right was the “follow me” part. Jesus didn’t say that calmly. When you look at the original language, it was more of a, “Come here!” It was authoritative. When He spoke those words, it struck a chord with something in them, and they walked away from everything they knew. James and John walked away from their father. Imagine that conversation. It sounds crazy when you think about it, but that’s what happened.
I took my five year old to a baseball game a few days ago. As we were walking through the crowd to find food, he kept wandering away. I found myself yelling, “Come here” a lot. He would run back to me, but would wander away before long. That’s how it is for many of us in our walk with Jesus. He’s constantly yelling us, “Come here!” We wander off, and He’s calling us back. The call He gives to all of us is to follow Him. He doesn’t stay in the same place. He’s constantly moving and drawing us into deeper relationship with Him. The question is, are you too settled in where you are to follow where He leads?