“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him” (Matthew 4:19-20).
Peter and Andrew heard the call of Jesus as they were casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee, trying to catch some fish. The Bible says that they “straightway” left their nets to follow Jesus. The word “straightway” means “immediately” – an indication of how determined they were to follow Christ. The word “followed” carries the idea of being committed to imitating the one he or she follows.
Jesus promised them that He would make them “fishers of men.” If we are truly following, then we’re fishing. If we’re not fishing, then we are not following! Past surveys have shown that 95 percent of all professing Christians have never led someone to faith in Jesus Christ. Too often they are like the reclusive, frugal man many years ago who accumulated 246 expensive violins in the attic of his house in Italy. Because he selfishly acquired and held on tightly to those instruments, the world never got to hear the beautiful music those violins were intended to play.
The sad truth is, many believers hide their light and store away the priceless treasure they possess as children of God. As a result, 95 percent of the world’s spiritual violins have not been played for others!
Evangelist D. L. Moody especially admired two very similar paintings. One of those paintings depicted a person in the midst of a storm clinging with both hands to a cross firmly planted in a rock. The other picture also showed a person in a storm firmly grasping a cross, but in this picture the man was reaching out with his other hand to rescue someone who was about to drown. Both pictures depict a Christian faithfully holding onto Christ. But the second painting portrayed the believer reaching out for another who was about to be lost. For us, as for D. L. Moody, the second picture should be the favorite.
Would “straightway” or “immediately” describe the way you respond to Jesus when He calls? How quickly does His Word make its way from your conscious mind into conscious action? Let’s be imitators of Peter and Andrew, and when Jesus calls us to follow Him and fish for souls, may we drop what we’re doing and obey the Master quickly. He has more in mind for you than you can possibly imagine – – if you’ll just keep following.