Luke 5.1-11 records an account of Jesus calling Simon Peter to follow Him:
“On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
We know that later on, Peter becomes a major character in the gospel accounts, and was also a very influential figure in the life of the early church, but it all started with the Call of Christ to Peter, those simple words: “Come, follow Me.”
The Bible recounts several instances of extraordinary calls that people received from God:
- God called to a man named Abram, told him to leave everything he knew and move off to an unknown land, and that He would make him a great nation.
- God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush, and told him to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
- Through the angel Gabriel, God called Mary to be the earthly mother of His eternal Son.
- In a bright light on the road to Damascus, God called Saul of Tarsus to leave his life of persecuting Christians behind, and to give his life as Paul, a special apostle to the Gentiles.
Each of us has been called by Christ as well. We might not have an incredible story like those mentioned above, but through the pages of Scripture, each of us has been called to follow Jesus. You could even say that that’s what Scripture is: a written account of God’s call to those He created to follow Him!
All of this is to orient us to a discussion of the Call of Christ over the next few weeks. By looking at the life of Peter and the interactions Jesus has with him, we can come to a better understanding of what it means to answer the Call of Christ in our own lives.
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