“Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.” – Mark 1:20 (CEB)
Before Jesus can teach us what it means to “fish for people” we have to be willing to follow. That requires us to leave behind those things we may hold dear. James and John left behind financial support, family and the security of the familiar. This is what they knew. Each and every day they worked with the same people; fished the same waters; did business with their neighbors. Now Jesus was inviting them to leave that behind and follow him.
Another challenge for the disciples and for us when we follow is not only what one gives up physically but what one gives up in regards to one’s beliefs and ideas. The disciples carried with them beliefs of faith and ideas on how to live. For as hard as it was to leave behind family and their job, it was harder for them to give up their long-held beliefs and ideas as it will be for us. In our willingness to follow Jesus we are implicitly agreeing to expose our ideas and beliefs to the Light of Jesus Christ for a thorough critical examination. Are we willing to take on the work of honest, self-reflection in light of God’s Light? This might be the hardest work of all.