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 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 4:21-22 NLT —  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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 10:37-38
  • Matthew 19:29-30
  • Luke 22:28-30


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.