Have events ever transpired that left you uncertain of the future? Did you wonder what would happen next? Were you unsure of where to go or what to do? Often times, one will just go through the motions of everyday life, not sure what else to do.
Many of the disciples were fishermen when Jesus called them to follow Him. While Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishing (Matthew 4:18-22), Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee and called them to follow Him. “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). To remember the full circumstances, reread Luke 5:4-11. They had been fishing all night and caught nothing. Jesus asked Peter to push his boat out so Jesus could teach the people. When He finished, Jesus told Peter to “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught” (Luke 5:4b). When Peter obeyed, he caught so many fish that his net was breaking! He called for the men in the other boat to come help him bring them into the boat. The fish filled both boats. It was then that Jesus called them to leave fishing and follow Him. And they did!
Three years later, Jesus was crucified.
Immediately after Jesus died on the cross and was buried, the disciples must have felt much uncertainty. They may have also been in fear for their lives because they were followers of Jesus. Three days after Jesus was put into the tomb, some women approached and saw that the tomb was empty. Angels told them that Jesus was alive, and to go tell His disciples. The women went and told the eleven disciples. Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene. She went and told the disciples that she had seen Jesus. He then appeared to the other women who had gone to the tomb. Remember the guards were paid to spread the rumor that Jesus’ disciples had stolen His body. At this time, we can understand most people did not know what to believe.
Jesus appeared to the disciples in a room where the doors were shut, but one disciple was missing. They could not believe their eyes. Jesus was standing before them – alive! Jesus explained to His disciples what He had done. “44. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:44-45). Jesus taught the disciples about Himself from the Old Testament: the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets. Keep in mind that throughout the Old Testament the promise of Jesus was given, and why He was to come. Now they understood what Jesus had been telling them. Jesus then revealed the plans He had for them. And the missing disciple (Thomas)? Jesus appeared again – just for Him.
Before we go any further, remember something Jesus told them on that night He was arrested. “But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.” (Matthew 26:32). Jesus had appeared to them twice now. However, Jesus promised them that after He had risen again, He would go before them into Galilee. What were they to do? Having remembered this, it would only make sense that when the disciples heard that Jesus was alive, they would go to Galilee. It would be important for them to act upon the words that Jesus gave to them.
When Peter said he would go fishing, the others went with him. They knew how to fish. The disciples fished all night and caught nothing. When a man (Jesus) on the shore told them to cast on the other side, they caught a lot of fish. It was then that they recognized Jesus. As soon as Jesus was recognized, Peter jumped into the sea to swim to shore. Recognize the blessing those who were fishing together on that day received! They saw Jesus alive, again. Jesus once again went to the Sea of Galilee to see them – just as He had told them He would. Before this day ended, Jesus called Peter, again, to “Follow me” (John 21:19b). Once again, they were reminded to continue with the same mission – to follow Jesus.
Jesus often meets with His people as they are about every day life activities – especially when they are where they supposed to be. It is then that one can be encouraged through the turmoil of life’s events and remember to “Follow Jesus!”
Do you remember to follow Jesus, no matter what uncertain circumstances come into your life?