Why did you get saved? Is the reason you got saved the same reason you walk with Him now? This series will think that through, and look at what we have, with the consequences and benefits.
My mom got saved when her husband, my dad, left the family when we 4 kids were ages 11, 9, 7, and 5. She was left trying to raise we four, keep the house, and earn a living - she turned to God in the midst of tragedy.
I got saved a few years later because I was looking for a father - and found my Father!
I led my girlfriend and future wife to the Lord, she got saved in part to be able to cope with her dysfunctional family.
What was going on with you that you got saved at that particular time in your life?
In John 1:41-42 Andrew brought his brother Peter to meet Jesus
"We have found the Messiah!" That was why he introduced his brother Peter to Jesus. To the first century Jewish man, Messiah meant He would kick out the Romans and restore Israel to her former glory. That's why they got 'saved'.
Perhaps Peter needed proof Jesus was Messiah, maybe he needed to see something as he thought on his brother's claims about Jesus. He didn't leave everything to follow Jesus at that time.
But later, Luke 5:10 tells us Peter, James, and John were partners in a fishing business. We know from the events of Luke 5 they owned at least 2 fishing boats (v2). Jesus told them to launch into the deep and let down their nets - plural - and there was 1 net per boat. So Jesus' command was for 2 boats to be launched.
Peter wasn't a believer, so launched 1 boat and 1 net, and ended up ripping the net and nearly sinking the boat. A good lesson for us, that before the Lord does miracles in our lives, He will usually require us to do what is right in the natural to be able to contain what He is about to do. It's the same reason when feeding the 5,000 He first had them sit down in groups of 50s and 100s, so they could handle the miracle that was about to happen.
Back to the story
When Peter saw the miraculous catch of fish, he fell on his knees before the Lord in v8, and told Jesus to leave him immediately because he was a sinner. Peter got saved upon seeing proof Jesus was who his brother Andrew claimed He was - how about you? Did you require proof as well? (I did. I watched 7 prayers being answered by the girl and her boyfriend who led me to the Lord, and then I gave my life to Him.)
Instead of leaving, Jesus invited Peter to become a fisher of men. Why do you think Peter followed Him? What was he looking for by giving up his business to follow this itinerant teacher? Same with James and John - poor Zebedee their dad, who was left with 2 boats, a whole lot of fish, and no workers! Why would his boys leave their business and their father to follow Jesus?
The teenager and future apostle John
The apostle John is thought to have been the youngest of the disciples, about age 17 when he and his older brother, James, started walking with the Lord. We don't know much about him other than he and his brother were partners in a fishing business with Peter. We know he had a mother that was quite forward, asking Jesus that her sons sit with Him in His kingdom in places of honor, one on His right and one on His left. (Matthew 20:21). We know he was the only apostle remained at the foot of the cross. And the only one who died of old age, somewhere around the year 100-110AD, after writing the gospel that carries his name, 3 letters, and The Revelation.
We don't know exactly why at the start, the apostle John 'got saved' and decided to leave fishing for a life with Jesus. Perhaps it was that claim of being Messiah, and that would mean a career move as his mother wanted - James to sit on one side of Jesus in His kingdom and John on the other side.
When we get saved it is often for selfish reasons
Sometimes we need help, like maybe on the verge of suicide or dying of a destructive habit or relationship. But even if we get saved to keep ourselves out of hell or more lofty motives like knowing God is the greatest adventure, it is still for selfish reasons. So maybe the apostle John saw following his big brother and Peter, his business partners, to a life with Jesus as an escape from a career his father had picked for him. We don't know.
But later in life, some 60 years after the events of the gospels, he writes the gospel of John. His motives have changed. His reason for walking with the Lord has changed over time. He opens his gospel of John with these words:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and there isn't anything made that wasn't made by Him. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men." (1:1-5)
The 60 years between being a zealous 17 year old following his big brother and his friend to walk with Jesus had changed him. At the start of his gospel he stripped away every other reason for walking with the Father and Lord, to recognize this fact: "In Him was life."
About 10 years after he penned the gospel that bears his name, he wrote the first of 3 letters, which we know as I John. He again makes the point that Jesus is Life:
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have handled with our own hands, the Word of Life. For the Life was revealed, and we have seen it and bear witness to it, that eternal life which was with the Father, has been revealed to us." I John 1:1-2
We don't know at what point John's relationship with Jesus changed from expecting Him to kick the Romans out of Israel, to recognizing the core truth: He is Life.
We are unique. There are two types of people walking the earth. Those who have God's life in their spirit, and those who don't. There are some who are close, as seen in Mark 12:28-34 in the scribe who answered Jesus discreetly: "You are not far from eternal life."
Let us move from getting saved for fear of hell, or because we needed in the midst of a tough situation, to understanding what we have - God's life in our spirit. How special, how unique - that He gave us His life. More on that next week and what it means in day to day life...until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org