At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, one of the first things He did was call His disciples. As He walked by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus called to Simon Peter and Andrew, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). The first thing Jesus said to them was, “Follow me.” In essence, Jesus asked them to be His disciples. Discipleship starts with following Jesus.
What does the word disciple mean? In the original Greek language of the New Testament, the word disciple means student, learner, or pupil (Strong’s 3101). In the days of Jesus, the word disciple was typically used to describe someone who followed a religious or philosophical teacher (Herrick 2004). When we heed Jesus’ call to follow Him, we become a learner and student of our great Teacher.
How did Simon Peter and Andrew respond to Jesus’ call to follow Him? “Immediately they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:20). Their decision was immediate. No consideration, no pro-and-con list, no pondering; just commitment. It’s like they just knew. How? Jesus lived a compelling life, and His disciples were moved by His ways. The way He spoke, the way He loved, the way He served, the way He taught, and the way He reached out to people. The decision was easy. Immediately, they responded to Jesus’ call and followed Him.