I’m reading through the gospels again and knowing Jesus through reading it has been a rich experience.
One of the things I notice Mark noticing about the ministry of Jesus is how quickly people follow him.
There is a briefness in the text that is unmistakable. 1:18 records Simon and Andrew “immediately leaving their nets and followed him.” A chapter later, Levi, the tax collector “rose and followed him.”
Who in their right mind, leaves everything and follows a stranger?
Perhaps there is something in the text that we’re missing, some persuasion we’re not aware of, or some reasoning that went on in the disciple’s minds. But right now, I am of the opinion of what Jerome of 4th century said of Jesus.
Jerome said “there must have been something divinely compelling in the face of the Savior. Otherwise they would not have acted so irrationally as to follow a man whom they they had never seen before…they did not leave a father, they found a Father. What is the point of this digression? To show that there was something divine in the Savior’s very countenance that men, seeing, could not resist.” ((Cetedoc 0594, 9.37; FC 57:180**)).
There is a divine irresistibility to Jesus.
I’m pacing back and forth in my room tonight wanting to be captured and captivated by this Jesus. He sounds beautiful. I want to see what Simon and Andrew saw which led them to drop everything. Something so moved in their heart so powerfully that at a dime’s notice, they evaluated that the value of following Jesus outweighed anything and everything they could have every imagined. And so leaving their nets was no problem.
Oh God, that you would open my eyes to see your beauty. That you would woo me like you wooed the disciples. They followed you out of reverence, and deep love. And by the end of their lives, in which they all died sacrificing for the sake of your name, they showed that it was love which drew them to you. Let it be so in my life.