Monday in the Third Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11

Follow Me

Jesus had ministered between the regions of Judea and Galilee for some time now, though we don’t know how long.  We know that Jesus’ ministry lasted roughly three years.  He had some men following him throughout this time but seemingly on a, well, “part-time” basis.  (We already met them in the Gospel of John 1-2.)  Four of the men whom we know that followed him from the beginning were two pairs of brothers: Peter and Andrew, and James and John.  In today’s passage, they finally made their once-for-all break from their regular daily pastimes to follow him.

Matthew and Mark give an abbreviated version of Luke’s account.  After preaching to the people from Simon’s boat, who had been “pressing in on him to hear the word of God” (I love that), Jesus asks Simon to go out to “let down your nets for a catch.”  Simon responds that they had toiled all night but at Jesus’ word he would do so.  As we indicated above, notice that Simon already knew Jesus and trusted him.  You know the story, when they obeyed Jesus, the catch was so large their nets were breaking.  James and John were called over to help.  At this, Simon Peter falls down at Jesus’ knees saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”  And as all were astonished at the miracle, Simon really expressed what all were thinking.  When they returned to land, all four left their business and families and followed Jesus – now full-time.

The first thing to note is this: that when we are in the presence of the Lord, confession and repentance will follow (or a hardening of heart).  Peter had seen and heard enough over the last several months; he knew who this man was: the Lord.  And he knew who he was: a sinful man.  He knew that the two could not co-exist.  He loathes himself and asks the Lord to go away from him (though he really wants him to stay).  But the good news is that when we in humility confess our sins and hate them for His sake, Jesus’ response is “fear not.”  There is forgiveness.  The second thing to note is that Jesus’ response requires that we leave all and follow him.  This “all” is any and every thing that gets between us and him.  God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5) and Jesus is a jealous Lord.  But in giving up our lives, we find them (Matthew 10:39).  And third, this following will include a call to ministry and service.  What that might entail is personal to each individual.  Not all are called to be preachers or missionaries, and that’s okay.  But all are called to some service or task.  The Lord will show this to you as you seek him.  His is to call, yours is to humbly present yourself, as Simon did.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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