The ESV adds become in its translation, indicating an future process of change or growing. The disciples weren't yet fishers of men, but would be transformed into what Jesus' will was for them and Jesus would do the work (I will make). Jesus did the fashioning, molding or transforming in his disciples in New Testament times and is molding you and me now if we follow him. Our action of following comes first."Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men." And immediately they left their nets and followed him. Mark 1:17
And immediately Jesus left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. Mark 10:29-31Simon had a mother-in-law, so we infer that he was married. Simon left more that just his nets, to follow Jesus; he left his family for a time (or maybe his family followed Jesus and his disciples.) This rocked me. If Jesus calls the engineer to do a completely time-consuming ministry in which Jesus would work through him and the engineer had to leave our family for days and weeks to become what Jesus intends, I would have a really hard time accepting God's will. I have always held tightly to keeping family before or above ministry on the priority list. This revelation of family in Scripture reminds me to hold loosely. However, I am comforted: Jesus showed up at Simon's house and healed Simon's mother-in-law. Jesus cares about families and will take care of them, providing for all their needs. I'm sure he'd do this even if Jesus hadn't physically walked into the home. He is an omnipresent God. I wonder what the perspective would be from Simon's wife. How many stories would she have of how God provided, cared and healed their family while she was "holding down the fort" during Simon's following?
A day after my pondering, the blue Jays moved in. In my office, I look out a window overlooking the boisterous one's rainbow flower garden. At first I noticed just one blue jay, then realized it was a whole flock. I had never noticed a blue jay in my yard prior to this, so it really grabbed my attention. I wondered why they had moved in and then I recalled the sunflowers she had planted. Food: the blue jays were after the sunflower seeds. Remember that movie, Field of Dreams and that famous voice in the corn field: "If you build it, they will come," ? Suddenly in my head is the phrase, "If you feed them, they will come."
Mark chapter one: fishers of men. If you feed them (literally as Jesus did feed the 5000+ and then 4000+ and figuratively feeding spiritually), they will come. Read through any gospel account, people flocked to him! When they follow, God's Word and Holy Spirit will do the work to transform them.
In the middle of preparing my teaching on 1 Corinthians 3, I see the parallel. Our class membership attendance has fallen from last year. But if follow (and leave my nets) he will make me become fisher of men. And if I feed them, they will come.
Since my calling, I've had the hardest time leaving my nets: my family. Just a day prior, the boisterous one ran off the school bus and asked, "You're coming to my fall walk, aren't you?" In fact, I had not volunteered for this field trip. Intentionally, this was an act of leaving my net. And even now as I work on my teaching, watching the blue jays, her look of devastation rips my heart in two. I know I'm called to teach right now but I'm feeling guilting about "leaving" my family. Knowing I'm following Him, I press on in my study and preparation.
A while later, I indulge in the last piece of Dove dark chocolate from Valentine's Day. (It is fall but, chocolate keeps, right?) I don't believe in horoscopes but I do believe God speaks to us in sometimes bizarre ways. Inside the chocolate foil is a message: "You are exactly where you are suppose to be." Not on a field trip, but parked in God's Word preparing for teaching. So I resolve to do the work God has called me to for this season and allow him to provide and care for my family as I follow.
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 4:10You have a mission you are called to for Christ. What is your "net" right now? Practice flexing your trust muscles and leave your "net" to walk following Him.