This passage in Matthew can be so encouraging. It reminds me that I'm not the only person tempted, that Jesus was too. There have been things in my past, that I have been tempted to do. One week I would be tempted, then I would dismiss it, prayerfully. But then the next week I would be tempted again- and I would get down on myself! This would happen time after time, and it would discourage me to the point I would feel inadequate as a believer. That is, until I read this account of Jesus being tempted by Satan- not once, but three times. What struck me as a surprise, years ago when I first read this portion of Scripture, was that Satan used Scripture to even tempt Jesus! It still seems crazy to me even when I read it today, but it's true. Satan can (and will) use Scripture to thwart the plan of God. Remember the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and how he twisted the words of God when tempting Eve? Satan will use the same tactic to tempt us- or steer us in a direction other than in God's direction. Jesus' example of how to respond to Satan's lies, was perfect. Use Scripture. That is why it is imperative to know God's word. If Satan used Scripture against Christ, he can and will most likely use it against you too. Satan may whisper a lie into your ear, but you will be able to rebuke the lie, by quoting Truth from Scripture. A questionable speaker might teach on something that sounds biblical. By testing what is said with Scripture, you can determine whether it is sound doctrine or false teaching. If you are being taught by someone or something, see if aligns with Scripture. That goes for my blog too- test everything I write about, with God's word.
The other thing I LOVE from this chapter, is the calling of Simon, Andrew, James and John. What I love about it is this: All four of these men were fishermen for a living. Jesus could have chosen men, already in a leadership position with a voice that people were already used to hearing, He could have chosen Pharisees who had most of, if not the whole Old Testament MEMORIZED, He could have chosen priests, who already taught about Scriptures. But he didn't. Jesus chose ordinary men with minimum education. He called them, then trained them. I really believe this is Jesus' example for ministry.
The second thing I love about the text on calling the first four disciples, is that Jesus said, "Follow me," and they got up, dropped what they were doing, and followed Him. It was a simple, immediate, act of obedience. As I have mentioned in other blogs, God is very intentional in every word He wrote in His word. Here is the Scripture again: Verse 18-22: While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. (Emphasis mine)
Not only did they completely abandon their jobs, they also walked away from their homes, and we know that James and John left their father too. They didn't know where they were going, they didn't know what they were going to be doing- they just trusted Jesus at that moment, and followed him. What a great example God wants us to learn and apply in our lives! What would happen if we all responded to Jesus the way these disciples did when he asks us to follow him? It may be that Jesus has asks you to move somewhere, apply somewhere, talk to someone... you're not sure why, or what will happen if you do... but that's where obedience and trust in Him come into play. Sometimes Jesus chooses not to reveal that part to us. If Jesus told Simon, Andrew, James and John that they were going to cast demons out of people, do you think they would have wanted to go along? If they knew that they would travel around without a place to call "home" to be persecuted, do you think they would have got up immediately, or do you think they would have wanted to ponder it awhile? If they knew that they would witness Jesus suffer excruciating pain on the cross and die- do you think they would have followed him at that moment? Probably not. I think Jesus tells us what we need to know, at that moment. If He told us everything, we wouldn't be obedient immediately. Sometimes the result of not acting obediently can alter the blessing- or change the circumstance. What if one of those disciples asked Jesus if he could pray about it for awhile first? What if one of them said, "Well, I don't know Jesus... can I have a few days to think on it?" It sounds silly when I put it that way- but that's the reality of our prolonged obedience. If you know Jesus is calling you- respond, immediately. Be willing to drop everything to follow him. There should be nothing so important to us, that we wouldn't be willing to drop in order to follow Him. The disciples were fishermen. Their fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers were probably fishermen too. Yet they didn't even contemplate their decision. They realized who Jesus was, they knew their calling, and they obeyed. It's that simple.
We are asked to do the same. Know Jesus, know His calling, obey.
Lover of Jesus, wife to a great husband, mother of 3 young children. I love to write, cook, and make greeting cards! Read more about me and my family here.