“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’”—Mark 1:17 (NKJV)
Peter and Andrew weren’t doing anything particularly “religious” the day Jesus walked up to them and said, “Follow me.” If Jesus hadn’t spoken to them, it would have been a regular day at work.
If you read the rest of Mark 1 and continue into Mark 2, the same goes for James, John, and Levi. Each of these men were at work when Jesus walked by and spoke to them, and changed their lives forever. When Jesus spoke to them, they had no idea they would become an apostle (which means “one who is sent”) that God would use to change the world.
Do you know what made people who observed Jesus marvel about the way He did things? Jesus didn’t go to the places where religious people gathered to call on His disciples. He went into the places where He wouldn’t find very many religious people.
Levi, who probably you know as Matthew, the author of the first book in the New Testament, is a perfect example of this. Levi was a tax collector, someone who was avoided by religious leaders at all costs. They even called men like Levi “unclean” because they worked closely with the non-Jewish Roman government. Because Levi was considered unclean, he probably wasn’t even allowed to enter the temple to worship God. The only real friends Levi had were other tax collectors. But definitely no friends that were “religious.”
This is how Jesus works. He breaks into the worlds of fishermen, tax collectors, your world (wherever it may be), and calls us to be His disciples so He can send us back to our worlds with the message of the gospel and a new way of living life.
History is not done being written. Maybe you’re reading this while you’re standing over the sink eating a bagel or banana and drinking coffee. You might not realize it yet as you head into traffic to go to work, but today Jesus is calling you to follow Him into a deeper discipleship relationship so that He can send you out to change the world.