June 25, 2023
The Rev'd Adam Lowe
Whilst it’s likely that these pair of brothers—Simon (Peter) and Andrew; James and John—had heard about Jesus prior to being called by him, their decisiveness and courage to follow Jesus is nothing less than extraordinary given the context, cost, and contents of the call. The context of Jesus’ call to both sets of brothers is straightforward: they’re going about their regular business of fishing, or, in the case of James and John, the family business. It’s into the ordinariness of life that Jesus quietly bursts in and disrupts, inviting them to change the course and trajectory of their lives. Whilst fishermen were despised, Jesus’ invitation affirms their value in the objectives and mission of God’s kingdom. However, the cost of the invitation is high. Not only has Zebedee likely lost his workforce (and potential retirement plan!) but the invitation radically challenges the social and economic responsibilities of these two households (who likely needed to work tirelessly to fulfil fishing quotas contracted with Rome). At its heart, the cost of Jesus’ call to become disciples is to follow God’s will rather than their own. They were no longer fishermen, but were to fish for people—that’s the content of Jesus’ invitation. Jesus is inviting them to turn their whole lives to him; he’s inviting them to go out, to announce the Good News of Jesus, and call others back to God through Jesus. The same invitation to follow Jesus is also for us! Jesus calls disciples. Jesus invites us to reorient every aspect of our lives for his kingdom purposes. That might not always mean changing our profession, our economic circumstances, or where we live—but it might! Jesus invites us to trust in him as Lord and Saviour, and follow him with our all. May we respond to Jesus’ invitation with the same clarity, immediacy, and passion as those whom he first called.