“Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’ And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.” - Mark 1:16-20
Have you ever watched as a child, especially a young child, drags their feet but technically obeys what their parent, teacher, or other guardian asked them to do? I can see the child now, mouth set in a pout or defiant state, slowly moving to do what they’ve been asked, “forgetting,” getting distracted along the way, until finally they do what they’ve been told!
The responses Simon, Andrew, James, and John give are the exact opposite of a defiant or reluctant child. Mark’s quick pace doesn’t slow down in these verses. As Jesus goes about choosing who will be his disciples, Mark emphasizes how quickly these four men responded to his call: immediately.
Not only did they leave their livelihood, their families, and the communities in which they lived to follow Jesus, they also left all of that for a man they barely knew. Mark doesn’t talk about hesitation or doubt, he doesn’t spare a sentence to explain how their families must have felt, the only thing Mark focuses on is how quickly they chose to follow Christ.
Whether it was curiosity, or the way he spoke to them, or simply a stirring of faith deep in their hearts, we have no idea exactly what caused them to leave everything and follow Jesus. All we know is that their obedience was immediate and complete. Throughout the Gospels, we find countless stories of doubt and fear and disbelief from the disciples, but those challenges ended in a strengthening of their faith and dedication to Jesus, which all began with immediately leaving everything and following him.
What’s your first reaction when God calls you to do something? Is it that of a defiant child who doesn’t want to obey, or that of these four disciples who chose to obey immediately?