Prince of Peace: From the Cradle to the Crown and Beyond
Jesus Calls the Disciples
In the fifth chapter of Luke's Gospel, he records how Jesus' first disciples were invited to follow Him. The crowds were pressing against Jesus, making it difficult for Him to accomplish His goal. So, spotting a couple of boats by the water's edge, He climbed into one of them, and asked the owner, Simon Peter, to take the boat out a little ways. From that position, Jesus taught the people. When He was done, he instructed Peter to take the boat into deeper water and to drop his nets into the water. Peter, with his brother, Andrew, replied that he and his partners—James and John-- had fished all night with no success, but he would follow Jesus' directive. To Peter's astonishment, there were so many fish that the nets began to break. So he called his partners, James and John to bring their boat to help, and as they continued to fill both boats, they began to sink. Peter, marvelling at the catch of fish, told Jesus to move away from him, because he was a great sinner. But, Jesus replied, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him,” (Lk. 5:10b-11). It's an interesting beginning—that the Prince of Peace would call rough, impulsive, and unrefined fishermen to be the first among the disciples that He would choose.
In Mark's Gospel the list of the disciples is in the following order: Peter, James (the son of Zeb'edee), John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (the son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon and Judas Iscariot. Luke's list is ordered differently: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon, Judas (Thaddeus) and Judas Iscariot. Although the order of the disciples names is slightly different, Simon Peter's name appears as the first disciple called by Jesus, and Judas Iscariot's name is always last. Later, after Judas Iscariot's death, Matthias was selected by the disciples as his replacement.
When John the Baptist pointed out Jesus as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”, people followed Him. When Jesus called His disciples, He said directly, “Follow Me.” The challenge is just as relevant to us today as when Jesus spoke those words: “Follow Me.” We must choose whether or not we will accept that challenge; and if we do decide to follow Jesus, we must also decide not to turn back to the lives we led before we accept/accepted Him as our Saviour.
Blessings & Peace
Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (Pastor)