As I’ve been reading through the gospels I’ve noticed that it would be easy to view the disciples as ignorant of many of the things Jesus was trying to teach. They didn’t understand that He had to die. They didn’t understand that His kingdom was not of this world. They didn’t understand the parables He told, needing Him to explain them.
But despite their misunderstandings, the disciples are examples to us in their readiness to follow Jesus. They are a wonderful example of a servant’s heart. We see this for the first time in Matthew 4:19-20, “And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” Immediately they left their nets; and these fishermen didn’t just leave their nets to follow Jesus, they left their entire lives to exchange their plans for His. They didn’t offer excuses. They didn’t say they had just invested in a new boat; they didn’t explain that their business had just taken off. Instead they dropped everything and followed Jesus.
With a servant’s heart, each one of the disciples accepted Jesus’ invitation to join Him in His mission. This invitation wasn’t an invitation to a vacation, and accepting it certainly didn’t promise and easy life. In Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” I’m not sure about you, but that doesn’t sound like a winning invitation. But the disciples were still willing to immediately drop everything and follow Jesus.
I believe that God expects much more of us than just going to church on Sundays, reading our Bibles, saying grace before meals, and believing the right things. We have to be willing to drop whatever is in our hands in order to be used for His purposes. We have to be available for service, and we need to be willing to pay the price that comes with it. If we are willing to follow Jesus we can expect that God will lead us out of our comfort zones. But when we are willing to surrender our lives to Him we find that we end up in a place of true blessing, joy, peace, and security.
We must remember that when it comes to the Great Commission we as believers are His plan A, and He doesn’t have a plan B. Are you as an individual, and are we as a local church, willing to surrender all to follow Jesus wherever He leads us? Will we have a servant’s heart?