That’s all that was said. No more. All HE had to say was:
That was indeed one of the most powerful CALLS ever. HE never gave them time to think about it. Or to pray about it. Or to talk to family or spouse about it. HE said follow me and they did.
That call went to fishermen Peter and Andrew. They dropped their fishnets and followed HIM immediately. HE told them that they would fish for fish no more. Rather, HE would make them:
FISHERS OF MEN.
From that point forward, their life’s CALLING was radically different, RADICALLY!
That very same call went to James and John. And, like Peter and Andrew, they heard that CALL and they followed Him. The commitment was instantaneous, IMMEDIATELY. They knew, in their heart of hearts, the deepest recesses of their humanity and spirituality, they knew who HE was.
They knew what the CALL meant and without the slightest hesitation, they:
That very same FOLLOW ME, that call of a lifetime went to eight more so the twelve men were radically transformed and all twelve became forevermore:
FISHERS OF MEN.
They knew instantly who He was. Can you begin to imagine what it would have been like for you, had you been there, to be confronted by Jesus of Nazareth, by the Christ of Glory, in His presence His eyes fixed upon you, the incredible physical presence of His person, His personality, His overwhelming demeanor, the power of the man enveloping you and with all of that, to hear those words:
Were mentally, emotionally and spiritually transforming, utterly transforming, never were they to be the same again. NEVER. For them, that was indeed the ultimate born again experience. That call would never again to allow them to go back, return to what they were, never allowed them to quit, forever one with Him.
Every true servant of the living Christ, Jesus of Nazareth has that kind of call. The circumstances are of course different but the message, the power, the meaning are the very same. If you are called by Jesus Christ, TRULY CALLED, you will never be the same. You will never have any doubt about what HE wants you to do. If you are truly called, especially to the ministry, especially as a Pastor, especially as the leader of HIS people, if you have once put your hand to the plow, and cultivated spirituality as He commands, you can never go back, you can never look back. YOU CANNOT QUIT!
And then there were Saul. A committed, zealous even fanatic Pharisee was he. This Saul was about the business of persecuting these radical, newly born so–called Christians, serious threats to Judaism. Saul had no problem persecuting and killing, none at all. Out he went on the DAMASCUS ROAD in pursuit of these newly born heretics. Then came the overwhelming light of the Christ of Glory. And the most convicting words Saul ever heard:
SAUL, SAUL, WHY DO YOU PERSECUTE ME?
Do so no more. And come and:
So that my people you once persecuted will now become your new spiritual brothers and sisters. No more Saul! Now was born again PAUL, an apostle, a servant, a bond servant, a slave as he called himself to his newly found Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of Glory. No conversion before or since was ever like that one. NONE. This Pharisee was called, and with a call like that, it would be forevermore impossible for Saul now Paul to ever quit, to go back, FOREVER CHANGED!
For Paul, from now on, FOR HIM TO LIVE IS CHRIST! This Christ he met on the Damascus Road was now his whole life. No matter the hardships, or difficulties, or sufferings, this Paul belonged to Him body, mind and spirit.
Paul found a new power which produced for him a new perseverance, a new commitment, a new passion. This new person, transformed, born again, committed his whole new life to:
THIS ONE THING I DO.
One thing and one thing only. From that point forward, everything Paul did was to obey the command:
Follow me. There was no call like that. So powerful, transforming and life–changing. Never would Paul be able to think about changing course, or QUIT or give up no matter the suffering. Paul was about the business of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of Glory forevermore.
The twelve disciples of Jesus of Nazareth were confronted by His person, His incredibly powerful presence. Their lives were transformed by two words:
Paul was confronted by the heavenly light, the bright light of the Christ of Glory and His presence. Those conversions, those incredible spiritual changes were dramatic, clear and convincing. We on the other hand, never having seen but still believing met HIM having heard His STILL SMALL VOICE in many different ways. Even as Paul was all things to all men to reach as many as possible, so today there are so many ways, methodologies, means and persons, especially persons, which present us with the transforming, powerful love of Christ. How grateful we should be for the action and activity of THE HOLY SPIRIT, who continually agitates, convicts and speaks to us in many different ways in that STILL SMALL VOICE. So that, sooner or later, we can find that PEARL OF GREAT PRICE. And when we are called, truly called by HIM, we can never turn back. WE CAN NEVER QUIT. We are HIS and HE is ours forevermore. That conversion is the ultimate in life. May you have experienced it and HIM.