Letting Go of our Nets

We live in a culture that has a difficult time of letting go. Whether it be a relationship, job, possession,  if we let go of something, then we immediately have regret and wonder “Did I make the right decision?” Is there really something better out there for me? We constantly worry about being short changed, undercut, and left out of life’s best. We see something drastically different though with the disciples. They immediately left their nets and followed Him.  

If someone asked you to leave your job tomorrow and follow them to a place they didn’t specify, would you do it? Most of us would have to say no. Even if we don’t like our jobs, leaving what we had would be irresponsible and negligent to go along with outright crazy. Most of us have to know what we are getting into before we even dip our toes in the waters of life. 

“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.” – Matthew 4:18

Now we come to the disciples, Simon Peter and Andrew. Jesus simply comes across these two fisherman casting their net into the sea while He is walking along the Sea of Galilee. Back then fishing wasn’t just a weekend hobby where you could cruise around all day and catch nothing. Catching fish was their livelihood. If they didn’t catch fish, they didn’t eat or make money to support themselves or their families. This was all they knew. They were comfortable here. 

“And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19

So, Jesus approaches the two fisherman who were hard at work and straight up calls them to follow him. And not only that but he also offers them a new occupation: fishing for men. Kind of crazy right? If I were one of these guys I would have a myriad of questions that would need to be answered before I budged from my spot. That’s not what these guys did though. 

“Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” – Matthew 4:20

So let me get this straight. These guys left their livelihood, their place of comfort, their income and their lives as they knew it, to follow a stranger who was going to teach them how to fish for men and they didn’t even know where they would be going or what this entailed? Yes. That’s exactly what happened. 

Why would they do that?

Well in the text it doesn’t say why. But we can get a clearer picture of the possible reason from two texts: Matthew 16:16 & John 6:68-69

“Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” – Matthew 16:16

“Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,  and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” – John 6:68-69

Ultimately, the Spirit of God opened up these disciples eyes to the fact that Jesus wasn’t just an ordinary man. That He was the Son of God in the flesh. And when they came into that realization, then they could give up their nets, their livelihood, their support and comfort up until that point. Why? Because Jesus was more desirable than what they had had previously and they were more than ready to give up those temporary things for the life that they would find in Jesus. 

This is an extremely difficult thing for me. I am constantly tempted to exchange life in Jesus for temporary pleasures. And while they satisfy me temporarily, they are never enough. And they will continue to never be enough. 

How about you? Do you recognize that the pleasures of this world are fleeting? Have you let go of your nets and followed Jesus?

We can continue to try and lug our nets around, and continue to chase the things of this world, but they will never be enough. They will leave us frustrated and upset because we put all we had into chasing after these things.

What if we let go of our nets though? What if instead of holding onto things, we let go of them, and recognized that Jesus was the only one that could give us life? I think we would find true joy finally. We would be able to stop searching tirelessly for solutions that were never created to fit this desire that we have for fulfillment. 

So I say to us tonight, let go. Let go of the things that you are holding onto because you are scared that you won’t find true happiness in any other way. Let go of temporary happiness and step into true joy. Let go of the world, and take hold of Christ. He knows our needs, and He will provide for us. 

I pray that we would find Jesus more desirable than temporary pleasure and temporary happiness. That we would truly let go of our nets and follow Him. 

Image taken from: https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/fishermen-pulling-boat-1212948?lang=eng