Out of the Boat

Matthew 4: 12-23

“James and John were in a boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.  He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.”  It seems like a rather odd detail to mention, yet, in most of the call story of these brothers, James and John, we hear that exact detail…in a boat, with their father, mending nets.  When Jesus calls they leave everything to follow.  Were they that disinterested in fishing  with their father, as a lifestyle?  What would ever possess them to leave it all behind to set out on an adventure that none of them really knew what was going to be asked of them?  Did they hold a grudge against their father that somehow they were going to become trapped in the family business, never having the opportunity to venture out and try new things?  How was Zebedee feeling towards Jesus at that moment as he pulls his two sons away from their livelihood?  Would we do the same, leaving it all behind, to follow?

The boat is often a safe place, even for ourselves, when we are out on the water.  There is some sense of safety and security when it comes to being in a boat, that just your typical day out on the water isn’t going to bring about much harm in your life.  I remember the time of my rafting accident, and after approaching every rapid that followed, falling into the raft, locking my feet in place to keep myself safe and secure, avoiding any more harm or hurt that had already occurred.  All of these things that were being given to them…a livelihood, safety, security, responsibility, and yet, none of it was going to replace the call of Jesus in their lives.  Even if they didn’t know what was going to be asked, it was going to be different, adventurous, new, bring about change, travel, and so much more; what young man or woman wouldn’t want that or find themselves looking for that in life.

The call of the disciples, as it is for us, runs much deeper than anything else.  There is a nagging and a longing that happens within us that is hard to avoid.  We can run from it and hide from it, but at some point, while we’re feeling safe and secure in life, mending nets, the call will again surface and God will once again call to some new adventure that only you can fulfill because it has been placed within your heart.  We pray today that we may respond with immediacy in our lives when the Lord calls us to change, to step out of our security and safety, into the deep, and go where only we can go, into a place of faith and trust as the brothers were called to today.  The Lord entrusted them and the Lord entrusts us to come and follow, in and through faith, to wherever he leads and calls.

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