They Left Everything…

Of the different Gospel accounts of Jesus calling His initial disciples, Luke’s account is the most intriguing to me.

Luke 5:1-11 “One day Jesus was standing by the Sea of Galilee. The people crowded around him as they listened to God’s word. 2 Jesus saw two boats on the shore. The fishermen had stepped out of them and were washing their nets. 3 So Jesus got into the boat that belonged to Simon and asked him to push off a little from the shore. Then Jesus sat down and taught the crowd from the boat. 4 When he finished speaking, he told Simon, “Take the boat into deep water, and lower your nets to catch some fish.” 5Simon answered, “Teacher, we worked hard all night and caught nothing. But if you say so, I’ll lower the nets.” 6 After the men had done this, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to tear. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. Their partners came and filled both boats until the boats nearly sank. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he knelt in front of Jesus and said, “Leave me, Lord! I’m a sinful person!” 9Simon and everyone who was with him were amazed to see the large number of fish they had caught. 10 James and John, who were Zebedee’s sons and Simon’s partners, were also amazed. Jesus told Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on you will catch people instead of fish.” 11 Simon and his partners brought the boats to shore, left everything, and followed Jesus.”

So many different sermons could be launched from this text, such as trusting Jesus; casting off fear; reaching the lost; being obedient; pursuing discipleship; our abundant life in Christ; and the list goes on… What jumps off of the page to me is that the disciples, “left everything, and followed Jesus”. Think about this for a minute: Jesus defies the fishermen’s doubtful expectations by having them cast their nets on the other side of the boat. The miraculous result is so overwhelming they cannot handle the catch by themselves, so they call for help. Hey, there’s another sermon: “When God pours out so many blessings that you need help”! Both boats almost sink due to the size of this miraculous catch!

Now look at the irony of Peter’s response to Jesus. Just as Jesus is about to call this roughneck fisherman to follow Him and change the world, Peter hits the ground and tells him to leave because, “I am a sinful person”. Well, there’s another sermon: “Who the enemy says we are vs. who God says we are”. Or how about “The enemy says we don’t deserve to be blessed, and God says, ‘I’m blessing you anyway.”

Then Jesus tells the fishermen not to be afraid, because they will catch people instead of fish. Just as the nets and boats could hardly contain the fish Jesus had brought them, the world would be forever changed with the multitudes of disciples who would give their lives to Christ, because of the bold testimony of these first disciples! What blows me away is that after this miracle, the fishermen pulled the boats ashore, and then they left everything and followed Jesus. “Everything”, that means their families, homes, jobs, and it also means that crazy big haul of fish they just caught! If they were like me, they would have already had a rough calculation of how much money this haul of fish represented. They may have even figured out their individual cut and how they were going to spend it as they were making their way back to shore. But they left it there on the beach for the multitudes to have, because Jesus was better. [like the “pearl of great price”] Imagine if they had only sought Jesus for the material blessings and they had stayed there on the beach with their treasure instead of following the Master. It seems to me that’s what many Christians want to do with Jesus today – enjoy the blessings of this life, but not really commit to following Jesus.

Here’s how I think this story would look like today… Imagine, you’re in a convenience store and Jesus tells you to buy a lottery ticket. You give Him a strange look and say “ok”?! He gives you the winning numbers and sure enough, you hit the jackpot! Then He calmly says, “Now, go give it to that homeless lady outside and then follow Me, because I’m going to show you how to win souls for God instead of money”.

What is Jesus asking you to leave on the shore? Is it comfort & security, addiction, the American Dream, your retirement plan, your love for the world, selfish ambition, traditional religious views, or your many good excuses? If Peter were here with us today, I am sure he would remind us that following Jesus will cost us everything, but it is so worth it, because He is Life! Winning souls for Christ is worth more than anything else we could ever own. Let’s leave everything of this world that hinders us from being disciples, and let us follow Jesus as we make disciples together with Jesus!


Other Posts You Might Like:

Face to Face - Bob Bentley

Kingdom of Heaven - Ross Thomson

A Blessed Transition - Beau Davis

Mind Over Matter - Madi Burnett

Body of Christ - Laurie Templeton

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McKinney at Cardinal

101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209

940.387.4355

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Sunday Worship Schedule
8:30 - Worship (1st Service)
Attended Nursery (0-2yr). Children (3yr-4th grade) are dismissed during the sermon to attend children's church.
9:40 - Focused Fellowship
This is a time of fellowship and refreshments throughout the building. Children pickup before or after Kids Praise.
10:00 - Adult Bible Classes & Kids Discipleship
Adult Bible Classes - locations vary. High School & Middle School Discipleship Groups in the Youth area. Kids Praise for 3yr-4th grade. Nursery 0-2yr.
11:00 - Worship (2nd Service) & Kids Bible Class
Attended Nursery (0-2yr). Children (3yr - 8th grade) are dismissed during the sermon to attend Bible classes.

Wednesday Evening Schedule
5:30 - Fellowship Meal
Adults - $4 and Students/Children $3 (during the school year)
6:30 - Passion Worship
Praise and worship time in the Worship Center.
6:30 - Celebrate Recovery
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12-step recovery group that provides a safe place to address and deal with life's hurts, habits and hang-ups.
7:00 - Bible Classes & Small Groups
Classes for children and adults of all ages and other ministry groups meet at various locations throughout the building.

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