Summary: Jesus calls each of us DAILY to follow Him. He is always leading us to new territory, new tasks, new responsibilities and new service. He daily calls us to deeper understanding. Jesus’ calling to us never ends. Sadly though, our response to Him often
Wherever He Leads, I’ll Go
By Rev. Dan Mahan
Luke 9:23 “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and follow me.”
A man was out fishing in his boat, when he hooked into a large bass. He fought the fish for quite awhile, and finally got it reeled into the boat. He could not believe his eyes. It was a 37 pound striper, a prize keeper. On the shore, he ran into a second fisherman who had a stringer with a dozen blue gill. The second fisherman looked at the bass, turned to the first fisherman and said, " Only caught the one, eh?"
It was the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on earth. As he was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Mark 1:14 tells us that Jesus saw Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew fishing. They were busy with the ordinary things of their day-doing the things they were the most comfortable doing. Jesus calls out to the pair of brothers, “Come, follow Me”. That same day, in vs 19, two more brothers James and John were also fishing. Jesus issues the same call to then. “Follow Me” he calls. At a later date, Levi, also called Matthew, was sitting at his tax collector booth. ”Follow me, “Jesus calls to Matthew. Jesus’ call to all was the same-“Come, Follow me, “And in each one of these cases, all men immediately left what they were doing to follow Jesus.
They immediately followed Jesus. I wonder what it was about Jesus that made them respond without hesitation. We follow Jesus today because we know what He did for us on Calvary. But if some stranger were to ask you to follow them, would you follow? It’s not likely! Jesus did not tell them where they were going or what they were going to do.
There must have been something about Jesus that made them respond immediately, no questions asked. At once, when Jesus called them to follow, these men left their nets or their tax collector booth and followed. They did not know where Jesus was leading them. They did not know exactly what it was that he was calling them to do. But they did realize Jesus was calling them to something important. And they followed.
What was Jesus calling them to? Yes, Jesus was calling them to physically follow
But Jesus was also issuing them a call to fellowship with him. These disciples and Jesus became good friends. For three years, they were constant companions. But Jesus’ calling was much more than that. It also was a call to discipleship, to belief in Him as their Savior. Luke 5 tells us that on the day that Jesus called these fishermen, the disciples had fished all night and caught no fish. Have you ever been there? I have! Darlene and I love to fish. We fish for fun. We like to catch fish, but we release what we do catch (because I like fishing, but not cleaning!) Even though we are not fishing for fish to eat, it is still frustrating to fish for hours and not catch any fish. I can imagine it’ s much more frustrating when you are fishing for a living like the disciples and then you catch no fish. Jesus tells them “Fish on the other side of the boat.” Now Darlene and I do that quite often. If we aren’t catching fish on this side of the boat, we pull our lines in and cast them out on the other side. Sometimes, we still don’t have any luck! We need Jesus as our fish finder! For when the disciples pulled their nets in and cast them out on the other side of the boat, their nets were so full of fish; they had to call out for help to drag them in. Their fish catch filled both boats-Simon and Andrew’s boat and James and John’s boat- so full, the boats began to sink. Notice in Luke 5:8 what Peter does. “When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said... “Lord, I am a sinful man. “ Jesus first call to us is a call to believe in Him as our Savior.
But Jesus’ call does not end with belief. Jesus call is also a call to commitment!
“Now that you have made me your Savior, make me the Lord of your life.” Jesus’ response to Peter “From now on you will catch men, Peter.” The Scripture says the men pulled their boats up on shore AND LEFT EVERYTHING and followed Jesus.
Jesus called the disciples to fellowship, belief and discipleship. Jesus was also calling them to new territory. He was inviting them to leave the comfort zone of the familiar waters of the Sea of Galilee to go to places they had never been before. Jesus was calling them to new jobs, new tasks. He was beckoning them to do things they had never done before. Now I am sure the disciples were uneasy that day when the seemingly madman, demon-possessed, came out of the tombs, all bloody from cutting himself with stones, screaming blood-curried screams. That is, until Jesus sent the demons into a herd of pigs. I am sure the disciples felt uncomfortable beside the bedside of a young dead girl and her mourning parents. They were in new territory. I wonder if they watched with wonder as Jesus fed the hungry multitude or attended to the sick and afflicted. I wonder if they ever felt like saying as they watched Jesus “I will never be able to help or serve folks like that, Jesus. I have never done this kind of thing before. Remember, I am just a fisherman (tax collector).