The First Disciples
As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishermen). — Matt 4:18 NET
When Christ needs men for important positions He never looks for them among idlers. He always seeks in the ranks of busy people, among those who are at their posts and are faithfully doing their duty. When the Lord wanted a man to be the deliverer of His people, He found Moses tending sheep in the wilderness. When He sought for a man to be king over Israel, He found a shepherd lad watching over his flocks. When He wanted a man for a prophet, He found Elisha at his plough. When Jesus needed men to become apostles, to lay the foundation of the Christian Church, He walked by the sea and sought for them among those who were busiest. No doubt there were many idlers loitering along the shore that day, lounging among the boats and watching those who were at work; but Jesus did not call any of these to be His apostles. He did not want for His apostles idle men or those whom their neighbours did not care to employ; so He passed by all the loungers, and kept His eye on the men who were at work. He must have men of activity, men of energy and earnestness, and He knew where to look for them.
The whole Old Testament was full of Christ. There were a thousand fingers along its pages, every one pointing to Him. All its types and prophecies and promises were fulfilled when He came, and lived, and died, and was raised up and glorified. It is very interesting to take up Christ’s whole public life and ministry, and show how perfectly He lived out the wonderful mission which the prophet here outlined for Him centuries before He came. He preached the gospel to the poor; He was the friend of the poor. He healed the broken-hearted. Wherever He went the sorrowing and the troubled came flocking around Him. As a magnet draws steel-filings to itself from the heap of rubbish, so there was something in Him that drew the sad to Him.
We ought not to lose this lesson. If we want Christ to call us to important places we must be busy and active, that when He comes seeking for persons to do His work He will see that we are competent and worthy. We should notice also that Christ often calls those who are engaged in lowly pursuits. If we think our occupation unworthy of us, the way to rise to a better one is to be faithful and diligent where we are, until we are called to a nobler and worthier pursuit. It is to him who is faithful in little things that the charge of greater things is promised. He who does not fill well the lower place is wanted neither by God nor by men for the higher place.