Becoming Is a Process
Written by: Brianna Williamson
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And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
- Mark 1:16 - 18 (ESV)
Becoming is a process.
Moving from one state of being into another can be painful. Often, we avoid committing to change because we know that with change will come some discomfort. What usually pushes us as humans to transition is when the current uneasiness is worse than the discomfort that would come with adjusting. It takes a lot of courage to leap out into the unknown and risk, leaving behind what is familiar.
There are several different tellings in the Gospels, (the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) of the encounter Jesus has with Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew, then James and John while they were at the Sea of Galilee. The account in Mark makes it seem like out of nowhere Simon and Andrew decide to follow Jesus but the truth is, it was a process. In the book of John we learn that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, the man who prepared the way for Jesus, telling people of the Messiah’s coming. From John the Baptist, Andrew and Simon first learned about Jesus and then they even got to speak with him (John 1:40-42).
In Luke we read that Jesus also borrowed Simon and Andrew’s boat to preach in, then He told them to cast their nets out and there was a miracle catch of fish filling the boat. It was after this miracle that Jesus asks Simon and the others to follow Him (Luke 5: 1-11).
Jesus is gentle and kind with us. He always knows exactly what we need and more importantly he is always seeking us out and pursuing our hearts. He asks Simon, Andrew, James, and John to come just as they are. This was very strange for this time in history. Usually a teacher or Rabbi would have young men coming to them to ask to study under them but Jesus was not taking applications. He did not want learners, He wanted followers. He didn’t care about their appearance or their social status. I’m sure being fisherman, these first disciples did not smell too great but Jesus didn’t care! He cared about their hearts and their willingness to leave everything behind and trust in Him.
As I said before, becoming is a process and Jesus tells these men that they will “become fishers of men.” This process happens for us the same way it happened for these disciples; through the opportunities Jesus extends to us to know Him and grow with Him.
Matthew’s telling of the encounter says that James and John had their father Zebedee beside them when Jesus asked them to be followers. In that moment they had to make a choice to physically leave their family behind to go after Jesus. In some cases God may ask us to leave a job, move to a new city, or reevaluate a relationship. Over the past few years He has asked me to do all three.
He will ask you to make changes in order to more completely follow Him, but just as He did with these first disciples, He will guide you and meet you right where you are. Yes, you will be challenged but He will be right there with you. He will keep providing opportunities to learn about Him and grow with Him. You do not have to be perfect or have it all figured out, just continue seeking Him.
Simon (Peter), continued to learn, change, and grow throughout his relationship with Jesus. When Peter ends up denying Jesus after He is arrested (Luke 22:54-62), Jesus comes back after His resurrection to again meet Peter at the edge of the sea, fill his boat with fish, and extend yet another opportunity for him to follow (John 21:15-19).
Jesus is always seeking after us and he desires for us to seek him in return. He wants us to ask questions and be curious about who He is and what we are called to do (Matthew 7:7). Most importantly, Jesus does not look down on us for where we are currently. All we have to do is open our hearts to Him and He will make the next move. God loves us unconditionally and wants the chance to prove that to us through the opportunities He provides and the way He handles our hearts, loving us into change and growth.
1. What is one area in your life where God may be calling you to make a change?
2. What emotions come up when you think about making that change?
3. In what ways can you begin to rely on God’s unconditional love when taking the next steps?
Lord, thank You for Your unconditional love. Thank You for knowing that we are not perfect and loving us anyway. Thank You for seeking us out and loving us. Thank You for wanting a relationship with all of us no matter where we are in life or what we are doing. Amen.
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