I usually imagine a sober scene. It’s a sunny day, waves lapping on the shore, the fishermen whistling as they work. And suddenly comes the unexpected imperative from this barely known stranger, “Come and follow me.” The routine noises die away. Simon and Andrew look anxiously at one another, silently counting their losses. Reluctantly, James and John lay down their gear, stand to their feet. “Well, I guess we’d better go.”
But maybe the story in my head is all wrong . . .
Do you remember as a child when someone you loved or admired very much pulled on their coat and reached for their keys, clearly about to go somewhere? Because you loved their company so much, you leaped up, begging, “Can I come along?!” Wherever they were going, whatever they had planned, you wanted to be there too!
Maybe the call of the disciples is more like that. What kind of talk had been exchanged in Galilean communities about this preacher who suddenly arrives on the scene? This Jesus who came proclaiming the kingdom of God, raising hope for God-initiated change? And here he comes! Jesus calls to these ordinary people with a compelling invitation: “Do you want to come along?” Don’t they! They jump up, hearts pounding, turning away from the known to a new vocation of following. What will Jesus’ message be, what might their mission look like? They will find out, called as they are to participate in the coming kingdom, invited to a new life of net throwing.