Matthew 4:21-22 says,
And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
I can’t tell you how many times I have read these verses, but before tonight I had never really thought about the father in this story. I had only ever focused on the obvious subjects – James and John. But tonight as I read this passage I couldn’t help but ask, why didn’t the father join them?
| Did he protest when his sons began to walk away? |
| Did he try to stop them? |
| Or did he long to join them? |
When I got to thinking about these questions I began to form my theory. Would you like to hear it?
He had too much to lose.
James and John were young and single and still living with dad. They were free to pick up and leave – they were free to travel.
Their father had more to think about. He had a wife, house, boat, livelihood, and possibly more children. He was tied down to his current situation. When Jesus called his sons to join him, Zebedee did not follow them. Instead he stayed where he was.
(Now I am not saying that he didn’t “follow” Christ with his heart. I’m not saying that at all. I just found it interesting that the Bible doesn’t share Zebedee’s reaction.)
This passage got me to thinking –
| What am I letting keep me from following Christ? |
| What have I allowed to tie me down? |
It is so easy to let stuff – technology, possessions, status – hold me back from following God with all of my heart. It requires a conscious effort to refocus, simply my life, and open up my heart completely to Him.