“And they left their nets at once and followed him.” (Mark 1:18, NLT)
The gospel according to Mark shows Jesus’ actions and people’s responses to Him. Chapter 1 essentially shows us the beginning stages of His public ministry, including the miracles He performed. The one part that REALLY stood out to me was verse 18. So, we see Jesus preaching the good news after John was imprisoned, and He went to Simon and Andrew (at work, by the way– Jesus can call us anytime, anywhere), and He told them (invited them) to follow him– as an aside, this is significant because Jesus sought them out, not the other way around. Isn’t that like our God to seek us out, for His glory?! Praise God! Anyway, He said that He will make them fishers of men. Then Andrew and Simon left their work and started following Jesus! Just. Like. That. They just up and left their jobs to follow this man! It’s amazing to me!
I’m not sure why “At once” is catching my attention… possibly because it feels like there was an urgency to them following Jesus; possibly because they thought it important enough to leave their livelihood for God…? As I reflect, I can’t help but feel like I need to be better, to follow Jesus and obey Him at once. And when we read further, James and John did the same thing; they left their father and the hired men and followed Jesus (verse 20). This following implies that they abandoned their will, their agendas, their own feelings to be with Jesus; they literally left everything behind for Him!
I can’t help but ask: Do I do that? Recently, God showed me that I procrastinate… A LOT! I am the kind of person who puts things off to the very last minute, because reasons… If Jesus had called me like He did these 4 men, I probably would’ve given Him one reason or the other as to why I will follow Him later that day, but not right away. It’s sad but it’s true. I am definitely being challenged by their immediate obedience (And this adage is ringing in my ears: Partial obedience is still disobedience!) I want to be like these disciples because Jesus IS worth following! He is worth leaving everything behind for. He is worth obeying. Why? Because Jesus is God! And God knows best!
So, I want to encourage you today. As you go about your day today, think: AT ONCE! If God is impressing something on your heart, don’t be like me and procrastinate; be like these disciples and do it AT ONCE! Obey Him right away! Pray right away, read your Bible right away, call that friend right away. Do it immediately, because Jesus is worth your immediately. And if you think you can’t do it, just remember that Andrew, Simon, James, and John were all human like you! You can do it, too!
Go, at once, my friends!
Grace and peace!