Last week John the Baptist testified to the light and his disciples followed Jesus because of it. Jesus turned and asked them to come and see (John 1:29-42). This week we are in Matthew 4:12-23 and Jesus is walking by the seaside and calling to some of the fishermen to follow him.
Now come and see last week felt like more of an invitation, a way to observe someone and make a decision on whether or not you want to follow this person. The action is all on the hearer to observe the story. Follow me doesn't do that though.
Follow me is just as disturbing as Matthew makes it for the fishermen. These men have been fishing all night , they are doing their morning maintainence and this guy just appears on the shore demanding they follow him and he will make them fishers of men.
Now there are disturbing pieces in this story. There is always someone who is bothered by the sons of Zebedee leaving their poor father to cope all alone with the nets. After all isn't this ignoring honor your father and mother. I've known people to do a midrash on this saying that James and John finished their chores and then made sure other workers were in place to help their dad and then they followed Jesus.
Isn't this Matthew's point though. Because in becoming a true disciple of Jesus we should feel bothered. We shouldn't feel comfortable or that things are always resolved because when Jesus asks us to follow him it means we begin to see the world in a different way. Because when we follow we are led to all the places we don't want to go. I mean think about the aces Jesus goes. He travels in the midst if the unclean and feasts with sinners, he breaks the sabbath day by having compassion on others, he touches dead people, lepers, blind people, talks with women who come alone to a well at midday, well you get the picture.
When we decide to follow Jesus it changes us, our perspective on others, and causes us to become servants thinking of ourselves a little less and if others a lot more. That is a message that never gets old. Are you ready to follow?