The Family Business

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

James and John made a decisive commitment. When Jesus called them, they immediately left everything to follow Him. They were making an enormous decision, since they were skilled fishermen and sons of fishermen, part of a family business. Being fishermen, for them, was an obligation, the way they supported their family, how they demonstrated loyalty and respect.

This must have made their decision to follow Jesus even more controversial. Can we imagine the agony this caused? The divisions and criticism?

Even after they were following Jesus, these thoughts must have remained in their minds. We see this kind of issue when a man asked Jesus how to inherit eternal life. He was told to sell his possessions and “give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But the man had higher priorities and was not willing to leave his possessions.

In contrast, Peter reminded Jesus that His disciples had “left everything and followed You.” Clearly in reference to the sacrifices made by the disciples, Jesus explained that all who left anything “for My sake and for the gospel’s sake” would “receive a hundred times as much now in the present age” (Mark 10:17-31).

We see the same kind of choice being presented to another man who had been following Jesus. However, this man had qualifications, and asked, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” Jesus knew that the man needed to make a choice: Was he truly going to follow Him unconditionally, or set qualifications and limitations on his commitment? Not interested in a halfhearted follower, Jesus told this man, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead” (Matthew 8:21-22).

Although the Bible makes clear that family is important to God, we must realize that we only can have one highest priority. That priority is to follow Jesus. Nothing is more important.