Matthew 4: Beach Walks, the Jesus Train and Putting on Your Big Boy Pants

I’d like to think that I am a true disciple of Christ today. I want to think that if Jesus were to come to me and say “Follow Me” that I would quickly jump in his van and head out on a cross country adventure of epic proportions. I want to think that I’d leave it all to follow Him. But, in all honesty, I don’t think that it would be that easy. 

But, the early disciples had to make that decision. 

In Matthew 4, Jesus is traveling around after surviving the 40 days of fasting in the wilderness and the quality time with satan on the mountain. He is walking  down the beach one day and he runs in to two brothers… Peter and Andrew. The Bible records the proposition given to them by Jesus when He said:

“Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Mt. 4:19

At once they look at their friends, say “Peace Out”, and hop on the Jesus train. (My own translation.)

They continue their stroll and come across another two guys who are working with their dad by the names of James and John. Matthew doesn’t record Jesus’ exact words, but describes the scene like this:

“Jesus called them.” 

Those are powerful words for me and they should be powerful words for you too. “Jesus called them”. 

Two thousand years later and not much has changed.  Jesus is still calling people. Jesus is still interrupting our daily lives to tell us that He has a better plan. He is still encouraging us to follow Him. And we, like James and John, are forced to make a decision. There was no “Part Time” positions in the job description that Jesus is laying out. There is only “full time, give it all, leave it all behind, no turning back” positions.

And we are forced to make a decision.

James and John were forced to make a radical decision. It would have included leaving their jobs… It would have included abandoning their careers… And, it would have included walking away from their father who was sitting in a boat with them fixing a net. It would have been leaving your dad to do the work while you followed a rabbi.

Now, the Bible doesn’t tell us if dad gives them the “I’m your daddy and you better listen to me Boy” look or not. Maybe he was happy. Maybe he was excited. Jesus was a great guy for your kids to have the opportunity to learn from. But, upset or overjoyed, it would have been hard.

Following Jesus is hard. 

There is no way around that one. There are moments that are going to be very tough and we will be called to walk away from situations or security or relationships that keep us comfy. But, like the “blankee” that eventually gets put in a drawer and only gets pulled out when you have an extremely bad day, we will have to put some of our “comfort” away.

Think about it. Abraham leaving his homeland. Zacchaeus giving away all the cash. Paul sacrificing religious privilege. Mary letting go of her son. And the list can go on and on. Following God’s plans for our lives can be difficult. 

So, what do we do with that? Well, we put on our big boy pants and realize that the One who we are following has a better plan for our lives than we do. 

Peter had a plan for his life… God’s plan was better. 

James and John’s dad had a plan for their lives… God’s plans were better. 

YOU have a plan for your life… God’s plan IS better. 

Who’s plan are you going to follow. 

It’s not easy, I agree. It’s tough to follow Jesus, but IT IS SO WORTH IT!

You may be tempted to remain in your comfy place, but I want you to reevaluate where you are. You can continue to sit in a boat mending a net, or you can learn how to follow Christ into the adventure of a lifetime.

If I were you… I’d choose the latter.


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