“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” [Matthew 4:19 NASB]
— raising them from a lower to a higher form of fishing. Their old profession was to be theirs still – only in a nobler form. Today they were casting their nets in the Sea of Galilee, tomorrow; the fish they were to catch were the souls of men.
There is a difference between following and believing. The proof is in the doing. When Christ began to preach, he began to gather disciples, who should now be the hearers, and hereafter the preachers of his doctrine, who now is witnesses of his miracles, and hereafter do greater things.
The best qualifier for winning men to Christ … “Imitate me in my conduct” encouraged Jesus. Taking this seriously causes alarm in our conscience and impresses fear on our heart. That is why many are called but few follow. To follow Christ, to be admitted into a partnership of his ministry, is a great honor. “Follow Me” or “Come after Me” or “Submit [Jesus makes this a voluntary command] to the discipline of repentance,” and you will understand and experience the joys of faith.
Peter and Andrew were brothers and men of business. They knew how to work hard, both in good times and lean. Catching fish is never a guaranteed business. Moses and David both were called from keeping sheep to different employments. Idle people are more prone to the temptations of Satan than to the call of God. Moses, David, Peter and Andrew were men that were accustomed to hardships and hazards; the fisher’s trade, more than any other, is laborious and dangerous. Fishermen must be often wet and cold; they must watch, and wait, and toil, and be often in storms. Interestingly, those who have learned to bear hardships, and run hazards, are best prepared for the fellowship and discipleship of Jesus Christ. Good soldiers of Christ must endure hardness, said. You Timothy “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” encouraged Paul to his disciple. [2 Timothy 2:3 KJV]
When Jesus Christ returns, it is good to be found “doing” by “following.” Those who would follow Christ, must, at His command, leave all things to follow Him, must be ready to part with what we think is scared. The Lord Jesus encourages us to depend upon His grace. He speaks, and it is done. Do we really believe this to the point of actually doing? There is a difference between following and believing; between talking and doing.