Have you ever wondered why Simon and Andrew were immediately willing to walk away from their business, their livelihood?
There are two phrases in the New Covenant I want to look at in greater depth today, that I believe will help us to understand one of the major disconnects we find in the modern day Church and true Biblical Christianity.
As He went along the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother casting a net into the sea (for they were fishermen). Jesus said to them,
““Follow Me, and I will turn you into fishers of men!” They left their nets immediately and followed Him,” Mark 1:16-18.
Have you ever wondered why Simon and Andrew were immediately willing to walk away from their business, their livelihood and follow someone whom they had never met nor heard of?
Isn’t it rather strange to even consider such an action, that seemed to defy all logic and common sense?
The reason, once we understand the culture and background of this story, becomes clear and causes us to pause and consider our own response to the call of Jesus given to each one of us.
The words ‘Follow Me,’ are the Greek words Lech Achari. Everyone in Jesus’ day understood these words and their significance.
When a rabbi would call a young man, he would say Lech Achari, or Follow Me. Every Hebrew young man yearned to hear these words spoken to them at some point in their lives.
If you heard these words directed towards you, it changed your life forever!
You see, not everyone was so honored to have these words directed at them. In fact, to hear these words was considered an incredible and indescribable honor, reserved only for the most gifted of young men!
Why you may ask? Because most men were not astute enough in Torah to have the opportunity to study under the tutelage of a rabbi.
Instead, the vast majority of young men would continue in their family trade, even if their desire was to have the opportunity to study the Torah in greater depth.
This is precisely what Simon (Peter) and Andrew were doing when Jesus who was considered a rabbi approached them and spoke “Lech Achari” to them.
Now, I want you to listen to this and understand what I am saying. At some point in their lives they had been told that they weren’t fit to study under a rabbi.
They weren’t smart enough, good looking enough, tall enough, short enough, thin enough or fat enough etc. They did not qualify according to the inclinations of the religious system of their day.
This honor was supposed to be out of their reach! But one visitation, one invite from Jesus changed their lives forever!
This gives us a new perspective on what it means to ‘Follow Jesus’. Those two words, Lech Achari were considered one of the highest honors any Jewish young man could ever have extended to them!
When Jesus revealed Himself to us, according to His culture and His understanding He extended to us one of the greatest honors of our lives — to ‘Follow Him’.
This was not just some random command in the scriptures. It was a call to life transformation! And these same words, Lech Achari have that same power today to radically change our lives if we recognize the great honor being extended to us!
This is not an invitation to ‘repeat after me’ a simple Prayer of Salvation. This is an invitation for a Life of Discipleship, Encounter and Transformation, walking with the King of kings and the Lord of lords!
Speaking of being a disciple of Jesus, the second word I wanted to look at was the Greek word Mathetes. This is the most common Greek word used for disciple in Scripture.
It is a word that can also be translated as ‘student’.
But that simplistic understanding doesn’t do justice to the relationship between a rabbi and a mathetes or disciple.
Today we tend to think of a student as an individual who sits in a classroom (or online) and absorbs information from a teacher in order to gain a certificate showing proficiency in a particular field of study.
However, Biblical Discipleship goes much further than that! The reason a rabbi would say Lech Achari to a young man, was because he was inviting that young man to be his disciple.
The reason Simon (Peter) and Andrew dropped everything to follow Jesus was because being discipled under a rabbi was a completely immersive experience.
Disciples would forsake everything, including their jobs, families, worldly distractions and homes to follow their rabbi.
They would go wherever the rabbi went, do whatever the rabbi did, eat what the rabbi ate, conduct themselves in the same manner as their rabbi. They would emulate their rabbi in all aspect of their conversation and conduct.
A disciple’s goal wasn’t simply to learn what his rabbi knew. A disciple wanted to be just like his rabbi!
Discipleship is more than just reading your Bible and going to Church once or twice a week.
Jesus wants us to immerse ourselves in our relationship with Him, as His original 12 disciples did.
He wants us to hold nothing back, to surrender every aspect of our lives to Him. He doesn’t want us to just know what He knows; He wants us to do what He did, love as He does, pray as He prays, lay down our lives as He did and glorify Yahweh as He did and does!
Just imagine if we were truly willing to do this just as His original disciples did? What would the world look like?
For His glory,
~ Bruce Allen
Dr. Bruce Allen, is the founder of Still Waters International Ministries, PO Box 1001 Chewelah WA, 99109 United States. It is Bruce’s passion to see the Body of Christ awaken to their destiny in this hour by equipping them to hear God’s voice and access the reality of the supernatural in every day life.