The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.
And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
The Cost of Following
Imagine while walking home from school, a stranger comes to you and asks you to leave everything to follow him. What would you do? What questions would you ask yourself before making such a decision? From today’s reading, we see that this is almost what happened to some of the disciples when Jesus called them to follow Him. What questions do you think they might have asked before making such a commitment? From this passage, we learn that these men left everything to follow Christ. They left their homes, families, jobs, and friends to follow Him. In fact, Scripture says that they not only left, but they did it without delay. They had to be very committed in order to make such a decision. Make a list of three important things in your life. Look at them and ask yourself, “Am I willing to leave these to follow Christ?” Is there an area of your life that you are unwilling to leave behind in order to follow Christ – friends? job? car? Circle the words without delay in verse twenty to remind you of the Godly example of the disciples. God may never ask us to leave our lives behind, but we must be willing to do just that.
What things are people unwilling to leave to follow Christ?
Why do you think it is difficult for some to leave those things?
What areas do you need to evaluate in order to be more like the disciples in this passage?
In light of this passage, what personal commitment can you make?