Can you imagine what went through Zebedee’s mind? Here it is from the Bible…
“Jesus saw two brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And He called them to come and follow Him. They immediately followed Him, leaving the boat and their father behind!” (Matthew 4:21-22)
Here are the issues, it seems to me…
A thriving family fishing business.
Two grown sons who had grown up learning the business from their dad.
They were integral to the success of the business – Zebedee had in fact structured the future of the business around their participation and ownership with him.
They were engaged with him in an important daily
responsibility and task… repairing the nets.
Along comes Jesus… He stops, engages in a conversation with Zebedee’s two boys… then he calls them to follow him…
They drop everything… leave Zebedee in the boat with the nets… and follow Jesus!
Tell me… if you were a parent, how would you feel?
Hey, let me tell you, it’s a challenge that many Christian parents have faced when God has called their children into Christian service! I can give you the names – I was their pastor… I saw it happen!
Some parents have responded in a constructive, godly way (after all they had “dedicated their children to the Lord” and His purposes for their life). Others have resisted, and have become angry at God for His call – even bitter. And honestly, not all children have handled the situation well either.
But here’s the deal… The Lord, who is our Creator and Redeemer has first rights to all of us… even our children! His call has priority! His purposes are primary! I am sure Zebedee had to deal with that! We are not told about his response or struggles! We trust they were godly and gracious.
I am so glad my parents prayerfully entrusted their children to God’s will, God’s purposes and call! We’ve tried to follow in their footsteps with our children. Let me urge you to do the same with yours.