Leaving Everything and Following Jesus

In Luke chapter 5, Jesus was standing by the Lake Gennesaret with the people crowding around Him. He sees two boats and got into one of them , telling Peter to push out from the shore. Then Jesus sat down and taught the people.

Finishing His teaching he tells Peter to “Put out into the deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Against their knowledge of fishing, Peter and his fishing partners do what Jesus told them to do. They were astonished at the resulting large catch of fish.

If you were Peter, what would you do? First, Jesus dumps a fortune in fish at your feet. Then this Jesus tells you to leave this fortune and take up an entirely new enterprise-one you have no experience with whatsoever.

Does this sound smart? Does this sound like reasonable advice to you? Would you do the economically smart thing, the safe thing? Jesus has made the fisherman wonderfully successful in the eyes of the world-perhaps for the first time in their lives. Could you turn your back on the money, on the comfort, on the status? Could you turn away from this new found success and its promise for your life?

Could you, would you with the same humility and conviction that caused Peter to collapse before Jesus-cry out, “I am a sinful man!” This simple fisherman and his companions are so moved by the spirit of Jesus and the power of His presence that they take a truly stunning course of action. Hauling the loaded boats ashore, these fishermen abandon their new wealth and leave behind their old symbols of security.

Look at verse 11: “They left everything and followed him.” Were these guys crazy? They took the winning ticket and left it on the lake shore for any passerby to find. They not only gave up new wealthy and a new successful image: They simply abandoned their only continuing means of livelihood-their boats. How can they ever return to their old profession without their equipment? Can you even imagine making a similar leap in your own life?

If you were offered a choice between a million-dollar jackpot and a life of “catching people” for Christ, what would you do? Would you leave everything and follow Jesus?

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