The Gospel story tells us that Jesus went by the Sea of Galilee. He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting net into the sea. So, Jesus called them. “Simon, Andrew, come follow me and I will make you fish for people.” They left their new boat and new nets behind to follow Jesus.
As Jesus went a little farther, he saw Zebedee and his sons, James and John were in their boat mending their nets. Jesus called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
James and John like Simon and Andrew had heard about Jesus. They had even heard him preach and seen him heal and cast out demons. I think their father was so glad to see them take an interest in Jesus. An old man Zebedee believed in that old-time religion.
So, when Jesus came along with Simon and Andrew and called James and John, they drop their nets and followed. Their father had the hired hands to help him. They left their father and followed Jesus.
So, these four disciples dropped their nets to follow Jesus. Some thought these were poor men who were not leaving much behind. They were like homeless men leaving their fishing poles and try their luck at the downtown missions. But these four fishermen left a lot behind by dropping their nets. For each of them those nets represented different things.
For Simon and Andrew those nets represented their life’s work. They were hard working men who had built up a business through that work. When Jesus came they were out in their boat casting their nets. They had the first boat out and last one back every day.
James and John were different. They were in the boat when Jesus came mending their nets. They were very close with their father and his business. But it was more than business. It was family.
They were not building something new - they were mending and maintaining something old and valuable. When they left to follow Jesus, they left their father and business. The business would go on. The old Man had trusted employees could carry on. The business wasn’t the issue. It was their father they were leaving behind.
I met many people who left behind a lot to follow Jesus. I knew one person who had owned his own computer company. He had built it from the ground up. But when he heard his call - he sold it to go to seminary. He dropped his internet to follow Jesus.
I can remember where I dropped my net to follow Jesus. I can even show you the place. I heard several calls to ministry very young but I ignored them. But I just dropped my nets when we moved here for my husband’s appointment to Greeley.
Where are your nets? What have you left behind? It is not just apostles that drop their nets to follow Jesus. We all have to give up something. Some of the early Christians had given up their lives. Some today following Jesus still facing persecution and even death.
Everyone who follow Jesus leaves something behind. For some it is the indifference of not loving your neighbor. It is so much easier to ignore your neighbor than to love them. Because to love them means you have to reach out to them and help them in their troubles.
For some it means leaving behind professions and friends. Some professions can’t be carried on by Christians or if they are carried on in a Christian way- others push you out. Friends who are used to your old ungodly ways reject you when you start acting in a Godly way.
Sometimes even churches have to drop their nets to follow Jesus. They have to drop old ideas of who they are so they can be what God is calling them to be. Sometimes congregations have to drop traditions.
Have you dropped your nets? These four disciples dropped them but most people try to follow Jesus without dropping their nets. They simply drag them along. And they often get tangled up in their old nets.
Friends, do you know we all are dragging some nets? The old ideas and prejudice, dreams and allegiances are delaying our walk with Christ. As we try to follow Jesus our feet keep getting caught in them and we stumbled. Now, drop our nets and follow Jesus. Shalom and Amen!
Scripture: Mark 1:14-20