September 16 - Luke 5:1-11

Monday, September 16, 2013

Luke 5:1-11 – Calling the First Disciples

In Acts 1:21-22, we learn that Luke calls the ones who were with Jesus from the very beginning – the moment he was baptized by John – to the day he ascended into heaven apostles. There were more than just the twelve we know by name and after Judas’ betrayal and subsequent suicide, it was from that group they chose another.

That means that each of the people we meet in the gospels were part of a group of people who were constantly with Jesus, long before he called them to be his disciples.  We read in John 1:40 that Andrew, Simon’s brother, was a disciple of John the Baptist. He introduced Jesus to Simon and through them Jesus met James and John, the sons of Zebedee. While they were all familiar with each other, there was a point that Jesus changed the name of the game. He called them to something greater.

This makes a great deal more sense to me than thinking Jesus walked up to several strangers and said “Follow me.”  These men had been with him, listening to him teaching, observing as he performed miracles of healing and exorcism. It was Simon’s mother-in-law who had been healed by Jesus. From there it would be a natural progression to accept the call of the Lord.

When Jesus climbs aboard Simon’s boat in Luke 5:3, Simon was ready to accept the request because his mother-in-law had been healed and because Jesus was already gaining renown as a teacher and miracle worker. It would have been an honor for the man to offer Jesus a place to sit while teaching the people who listened from shore.

The story of nets so full that they nearly sank the boat offers a beautiful look at the Savior who had yet to call Simon into discipleship. Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John were all there when this amazing miracle occurred. They were personally touched by the astounding gift that Jesus gave to them.  It was at this point that Jesus calmed Simon’s fears and called him into a much bigger life.

The response to the gift and then to the call were immediately. They pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed the one who would save the world.

These men responded to Jesus Christ … to his gift, his personhood and his call.