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Having Faith To Follow

Imagine you are Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. How do you confront him when he tells you about this call of Jesus. “What? You’re leaving fishing? You love fishing! You love being on the water! You’re going to follow who? A carpenter’s son from Nazareth? Nazareth! Really?” But you’ve never seen Peter’s bearded face so radiant, at least not since the day he married your daughter. Since her death, inescapable gloom has engulfed him. Despondency has surrounded him like a dark cloud on the Sea of Galilee. He is such a passionate man. He’s been really difficult to live with.

Now? Something has changed. Joy floods his eyes. Love fills his words. Something new overflows from his heart. This Jesus hasn’t asked him to leave fishing, he exclaims, but tells him that he’ll be fishing for “men”! What in the world does “fishing for men” mean? How can he ask that much from Simon? Does he know how broken he is inside or does he only see those strong muscles? Does this Jesus understand that the big fisherman really doesn’t handle loss very well?

You try to get Andrew to change his brother’s mind. Andrew is the more level-headed one. But he says that he’s going too. He says that we can trust this Jesus. Then he sings, “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” As he turns to go, he shouts, “He might be the one! He could be the Messiah that we have been waiting for!” Then he skips down the path. Andrew, sensible Andrew, skips! You’re heard of mountains skipping like rams, but— Andrew?

And yet worry seizes you—Simon is leaving all? How will we eat? Who will run the business? You’ve got so much fear. So much anxiety. It just might make you sick.

~ Thanks to John Barker and Karla Bellinger


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