There’s a remarkable story in Matthew chapter 4 that we often take for granted because we’ve heard it so much. Simon and Andrew had heard that Jesus was the Messiah. One day, Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee and saw them casting a net into the sea. And He said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Straightway they left their nets and followed Him.
Imagine that! You’ve heard that this man is the Messiah. He comes to you and asks you to leave your work, leave your family and follow Him. He wants you to go with Him around the countryside to teach, and says you’ll do greater things with your life than just the day-to-day grind. He’ll make you fishers of men. He’ll make you someone who can lead souls to God, who can be an instrument in the hands of God in transforming lives and leading them to the light.
Would you believe Him? Even if you believed He was the Son of God, might you still feel inclined to say, “Yeah, but He doesn’t know me. There’s nothing special about me. I can’t be useful to Him. I’m just an ordinary person with a lot of problems and hang-ups.”
But Jesus took these ordinary men, not scripture scholars, but ordinary fishermen and made them His apostles, men of God with power to act, heal, and teach in His name. That is one of the most powerful messages of Jesus Christ – that He can take ordinary people and transform them into extraordinary instruments in His hands. And this doesn’t just apply to Simon and Andrew; it applies to you and me.
One might also say, “But what about my life?” What of Simon and Andrew? Did their lives change when they dropped their nets and followed Jesus Christ? Of course! Jesus even changed Simon’s name to Peter. They were never the same again. That had to have been scary for them at that moment of decision. I wonder if they even understood how much their lives would change? Did they know that they would work mighty miracles in His name? Did they even begin to comprehend that they would help bring thousands to the feet of Jesus Christ where they would find salvation for their souls? I doubt it.
“Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” asked Jesus of His disciples. They answered, “Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some Elias, and others Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” Jesus replied, “But whom say ye that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus answered and said to Peter, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:13-17) John the Revelator explained, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10). When we have a testimony of Jesus, we are exercising the spirit of prophecy – a gift of the Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 12).
Even though Peter had the spirit of prophecy to declare that Jesus is the Son of the living God, the Lord later told Peter at the Last Supper, “Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Even though Peter had a testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ, he was not yet converted. According to the thesaurus, converted means transformed, recreated or changed.
There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. There is a difference between knowing, doing and becoming. The gospel of Jesus Christ invites us to become someone new. As Paul said, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
When we drop our old lives, throw down our nets and follow Jesus Christ, we start on a path that can seem quite scary. We may feel like we’re leaving not only our old habits behind, but also sometimes even our very selves behind. But it is always worth it. The person He transforms us into is more beautiful, exciting, vibrant and happy than anything we could have become on our own. And isn’t it only fitting, only logical, that God can do so much more with a life than we can make of it ourselves?
God takes ordinary people and transforms them into extraordinary instruments in His hands. No matter how boring, untalented or ordinary we feel we are, Jesus Christ, if we let Him, will transform us into individuals who can make a miraculous difference in the world around us.
This is an excerpt from 10 Steps to Fulfilling Your Divine Destiny.