Jesus’ ministry lasted three and one half years. To say that a lot happened during that time would be a major understatement. But on the bookends of Jesus’ ministry is something that is very interesting. In Matthew 4 as Jesus calls the first disciples He says, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Here is Jesus walking by the Sea of Galilee when He sees two men, Peter and his brother Andrew. As they are casting out their net, going about doing their job, Jesus interrupts them and gives them the command to “Follow Me.” In fact as we progress through the Gospels we see Jesus interrupting people’s lives and calling them to abandon everything in order to follow Him. I see two important truths about that. First, following Jesus means a change in my life must occur. When Jesus enters my life it isn’t going to be business as usual. Secondly, am I open to Jesus interrupting my life? That’s a question I and probably many others grapple with. As Christians we always say, “Lord use me.” And many times we are sincere in that desire, but lurking behind that request many times is a thought, “use me as long as it is something I want to do, or that I’m comfortable with, or when it is convenient for me, etc.” But that isn’t what the call of God is. The call of God is to “follow Me.” It is similar to what He said to Abraham in Genesis 12, “Now the Lord ad said unto Abram, get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, and unto a land that I will shew thee.” Do you see the “follow Me” in that verse? In both cases, God never said where or how He was going to use Abraham or Peter and Andrew. Rather He just issued a simple command and it was up to them to obey. This is what Dr. David Platt calls “giving God a blank check.” I think that is appropriately stated. Giving God a blank check is both exhilarating and scary. But I can also say beyond the shadow of any doubt, it is always worth it.
On the other end of Matthew’s Gospel, at the close of Jesus’ earthly ministry He says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations (make disciples), baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. . .” So in the beginning of Jesus’ ministry He says, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” And in the end He says “Go make disciples.” What could this possibly mean? It means that from the beginning of our faith walk with Jesus until the end of our life, it is to be about fishing for men to become disciples of Christ. Peter and Andrew were to leave their job for the purpose that God had for them. Is God calling all Christians to leave their jobs and go into full-time ministry? In a way yes He is, and in a way no He isn’t. He isn’t telling us to all give a two week notice, head off to seminary, and become pastors. Though if that is what He asks us of, because we have given Him a blank check, that is what we should do. But in a way He is telling us to allow Him to rearrange our lives. Our lives are no longer about our comfort, our wants, or our needs. Rather our life is to be about His business, which is spreading the Gospel. If I’m going to be a fisher of men or make disciples, then I need to look at every opportunity I a given as a Gospel opportunity. If I’m at the grocery store, I should be sensitive and looking for the person God would have me share with. If I’m at the doctor’s office, I should be looking for who God wants me to share His love with. If I’m at one of our children’s ball practices, I should be looking for that person or those people to share Christ with. Following Jesus is a call to die. To die to ourselves and our own selfish ambitions. But it is also a call to live. To live with the purpose of making Jesus known. Yes the cost of writing God a blank check is high, but God is able to cover any amount of sacrifice and then some. The only question remaining is, will we trust God enough to write Him that blank check and let Him fill in the details?
By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him