In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. – Mark 1:9-20
I had an opportunity years ago to serve in the national headquarters of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. I say opportunity, although it was perhaps more of a potential opportunity. I was considered as a candidate for a position there. It would have been in support for a significant leader in the church. I would have been happy to have served there, but realized the needs of the position were not really in my wheel house of gifts and skills. I was willing to play “second fiddle” because I greatly respected the person to whom I would report. He was a leader I’d be willing to follow.
About that time Diane was serving as worship director of our church. During a performance of a Christmas cantata, there developed a technical issue and the supportive accompaniment track got out of sync, and the AV tech got hopelessly confused. The production was at a stand still. Diane took the bull by the horns, went from the director’s podium to the nearby piano, played the music and directed from the piano. After the performance a member of the choir came to her and said, “I’d go to war with you.” Diane later learned that meant he considered her a leader worth following.
Jesus is a leader worth following like no other. He is worth following. He knows the way. He has the mission well in hand. He is unequivocal, directed, focused, and dedicated to the mission of God. He calls Simon and Andrew, James and John to follow him and they do. Immediately. They heed the call.
Funny thing about that, however, is that they don’t have any idea of what lies ahead. They are what we call unconsciously incompetent. They know Jesus has called them, but they don’t even know what they don’t know. They don’t really even know who this man is, and how totally worthy he is to follow.
They will learn in the time to come that Jesus is a leader like no other. He is more worthy of following than any other. He is more dedicated, gifted, and focused than any other leader. Ever.
Jesus calls us all to follow him. It may not involve leaving your nets. It may not mean that you become a full time church worker. But it does mean that you look to him as the One who is most worthy of following, listening to, believing in, and honoring. He will bring you to places you never imagined and provide opportunities for service and sacrifice, blessing and joy that you can not even imagine.
There are a number of choices whom you may follow on a daily basis: the world, the devil, or your own flesh. Or, you could go to war against these evil forces and follow Jesus. He is truly a worthy leader!