The calling of the disciples has to be in my top 5 favorite parts of Scripture.
I am always amazed at the immediacy of their response. Jesus called them and they got up and followed him. They left the task they were in the middle of, they left their families, they left the familiarity of their schedule, their homes, their source of income, their skills...they abandoned it all when Jesus called. And everyone wonders...why?
This is the question that Bonhoeffer answers in his book "the Cost of Discipleship." In Chapter 2 he says, "the cause behind the immediate following of call by response is Jesus Christ himself."
We wonder why someone might willingly abandon everything immediately to go...but it's actual rather simple. It's Jesus. It's not anything about who these people were, it was the authoritative and compelling call of Jesus Christ.
This call, the call to discipleship, for Peter, Andrew, James, and John, was a rather significant call. They were to be Jesus' followers, his 12 disciples. They were to learn from him tangibly, they were to walk with him, they were to be there for his crucifixion...his resurrection...and they were to be the voices that launched the first church. This was a unique call to discipleship in this way...and in that space where it is unique I feel compelled to ask myself the hypothetical question: if Jesus said "come follow me" would I drop my nets and obey?
In that specific space of uniqueness I have the freedom to be so hypothetical. But I have to face the fact that though their call to discipleship is unique, it's not altogether that different than the call to discipleship handed to you and to me today.
I've heard that call before...I hear it everyday. "Come follow me." That initial call to believe in Jesus...the call I get daily to remember Him and remember why I am here...the call I get to pray, to preach, to worship, to prophesy, to heal, to love.
When I think about it that way and it's not hypothetical and I know that Jesus calls me even now... I know that my response is not always as immediate as I want it to be.
But, as difficult as that is to swallow...I know that wherever life might take me that I will always have the reason to obey right before me and it is obvious, it is clear, it is right and true and it will never fail: Jesus Christ himself.
Even the disciples who followed blindly and without hesitation at first found themselves in spaces where they doubted. Peter denied Christ!
It's not always the immediacy to obey that speaks of the power of Christ, sometimes it's the way we always come back to him.