While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Matthew 4:18-22 (ESV)
As Jesus begins his ministry we don’t see him going to the nearest synagogue or the temple to find those that would be receptive to his call. No, he goes to the beach. The first four of Jesus disciples are fishermen. They leave their livelihood and family and begin to follow the man that would change the world forever.
Jesus went to where people were. As disciples of Jesus we are to follow his teachings, applying them to our lives. So many of Jesus interactions with people occur in the streets, by the shore, in the hills and in homes. He met people where they were and as they were and engaged them.
Rarely were people at their best when he encountered them. They were sick, destitute, homeless, engaging in immoral behavior, yet he cared for them. He cared for their souls. He wanted to heal them. He wanted to forgive them. He wanted to change their lives.
Peter and Andrew probably had no clue what was in store for them when he told them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They followed him at his call. I believe there many today that are ready to heed the call of Jesus and follow him, but we may not find them sitting in the next pew. We may find them in the yard down the street, at the library, coffee shop, or the beach. They are there and waiting, they just need to hear from us.
But, until we want the same things for them that Jesus did we will not motivated to reach out to them. We need to want to see them find forgiveness and have their lives changed. We need to be motivated by the example of our great teacher and engage people.
© 2014 Leo J. Woodman