What Jesus Did! 'Following and Family' — Matthew 4:21-22

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jesus continued walking by Lake Galilee. He saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee. They were preparing their nets to catch fish. Jesus told the brothers to come with him. So the brothers left the boat and their father, and they followed Jesus.
— Matthew 4:21-22
Illustration of Matthew 4:21-22 —  So the brothers left the boat and their father, and they followed Jesus.

Key Thought

Most of the time, when a person comes to Christ, that person is more loved and more greatly appreciated by his or her family. This is because of the Lord's strong demand that we honor our fathers and mothers and not use religion to neglect our responsibilities to them. But sometimes following the Lord means we must leave behind our family, as James and John did. Our sincere hope is that Zebedee became a devoted follower of Jesus, too. But even if he was a believer, when his sons left to follow Jesus, they also left behind their father and their family business. That's giving up a great deal. But Jesus is worthy of our sacrifices. Jesus promises that we will not give up family without finding more family. The most important relationship we must have if we want to bless our family is the one with Jesus as Lord. Everything else must flow through that commitment.

Today's Prayer

O Holy Father, please help me to recognize the importance of reverencing Jesus as my Lord and placing him above all other relationships. By the grace, power, and authority of Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

From that time Jesus began to tell people {what God wanted}. This is what he said: "Change your hearts and lives, because the kingdom of heaven is coming soon." Jesus was walking by Lake Galilee. He saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Simon's brother Andrew. The two brothers were fishermen and they were fishing in the lake with a net. Jesus said, "Come follow me. I will make you {a different kind of} fishermen. You will work to gather people, {not fish}." Simon and Andrew left their nets and followed Jesus. Jesus continued walking by Lake Galilee. He saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee. They were preparing their nets to catch fish. Jesus told the brothers to come with him. So the brothers left the boat and their father, and they followed Jesus. Jesus went everywhere in the country of Galilee. Jesus taught in the synagogues and told the Good News about the kingdom of heaven. And Jesus healed all the people's diseases and sicknesses. The news about Jesus spread all over Syria. And people brought all the sick people to Jesus. These sick people were suffering from different kinds of diseases and pain. Some people were suffering with very bad pain, some people had demons inside them, some people were epileptics, and some people were paralyzed (crippled). Jesus healed all these people. Many, many people followed Jesus. These people were from Galilee, the Ten Towns, Jerusalem, Judea, and the area across the Jordan River.

Matthew 4:17-25

Related Scripture Readings

"Any person that loves his father or mother more than he loves me is not good enough to follow me. Any person who loves his son or daughter more than he loves me is not good enough to follow me. If a person will not accept the cross (suffering) that will be given to him when he follows me, then that person is not good enough for me.

Matthew 10:37-38

And every person that has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or farms to follow me will get much more than he left. And that person will have life forever. Many people that have the highest place in life now will have the lowest place in the future. And many people that have the lowest place now will have the highest place in the future.

Matthew 19:29-30

"You men have stayed with me through many struggles. My Father has given me a kingdom. I also give you authority to rule with me. You will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom. You will sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes (family groups) of Israel.

Luke 22:28-30

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.