shedding new light on stories of old

Fish Tales (From the Belly of the Whale) - Preview 20

Discover the real story about the circumstances surrounding one’s response to Jesus’ call to follow Him

Misconception #35

The Call of Christ Comes Unexpectedly and Unannounced

As if tradition itself weren’t potent enough, add to that the power of melodrama, and together you have two of the most irresistible weapons in the arsenal of anyone looking to create a great misconception of The Bible.

In this case, what we have is an itinerant preacher by the name of Jesus of Nazareth Who’s going about the Judean countryside and indiscriminately challenging people to join His ministry. As Scripture portrays it:

Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when He saw Peter and his brother, Andrew, fishing. Then Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I’ll make you fishers of men.” Immediately, the two of them left their nets, and began following Him.

From there, Jesus continued on His way, finding two more brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were sitting in a ship with their father as they mended their nets. He called out to them, and immediately they put down their nets and followed Him.1

Then, later:

Jesus saw a man named Matthew, who was sitting in the seat of the tax collector, and He said to him: “Follow Me.” So he got up and followed Jesus.2

Now, upon reading this, we naturally get the impression that Jesus is just wandering about, haphazardly tossing out His divine calling card to whomever He happens to meet. Someone strikes His fancy, He blurts out an invitation to follow Him in His spiritual quest, and that person instantly drops everything after but a single, brief encounter with this mysterious yet charismatic stranger. Abandoning their old lives, these men, at a moment’s notice, decide to follow Jesus, never once questioning the motives of this Man Who’s demanding such an apparently hasty decision from them. Pretty gutsy stuff, if you ask me.

Still, I wonder: Did it really happen the way tradition has portrayed it for so many centuries? Did they all just drop everything that suddenly?

(…you’re reading Part 38 of a 41-part series. If you like what you’re reading and want to continue, please SCROLL DOWN. Or to read this series from the beginning, go to Part 1…)
Story Continues Below
To hear Kent and Zen Garcia talk about correcting biblical misconceptions, from September 9th, 2021, CLICK BELOW.
Story Continues From Above

“Of course it happened that way,” you’d insist, “because Scripture uses the word ‘immediately’ in describing their reaction to Jesus, doesn’t it?”

“Well, yes, I do admit that it does; but as usual, I still can’t help thinking there’s something missing here. As usual, I find it so tempting to disagree with the traditional interpretation of events as they’ve been neatly handed down to us.”

“But why, you may ask? Why are you always so prone to doubt the authenticity of The Bible?”

To which I’d reply, “It’s not Scripture that I doubt. What I’m questioning is the view that when, as potential converts of Christianity—which the twelve disciples obviously were—we’re expected to drop everything at the proverbial ‘drop of hat.’ I’m questioning the assumption that anyone who wishes to follow Christ must do so with the same reckless abandon as these first converts. And I am especially questioning the attitude that, in order to properly follow Christ, we must do so with a kind of ‘blind’ faith.”

According to this view, it seems as though we’re only acceptable in His sight if we throw away everything of our earthly life and hurl ourselves into the void, and all because that’s the way the early disciples did it. That’s what I’m questioning—something that, quite frankly, amounts to an over-simplified, romanticized view of accepting the call of Christ.

Now, again, before anyone accuses me of heresy because I seem to be disagreeing with the clear-cut demands of Jesus, let’s first review this traditional scenario in light of the three laws of disinformation. In other words, let’s revisit the total narrative of these encounters with Jesus in order to provide the context to His call of the disciples. Fair enough? Good, then let’s do just that.

Naturally, our first order of business is to see if there are any variations of this rendition of history amongst the gospel writers themselves. Fortunately, we do find such a thing in Mark’s account.

So ends this Preview of FISH TALES (FROM THE BELLY OF THE WHALE). To read more, please click on one of the following links:

To continue with this series, read an Excerpt to see that whenever Jesus calls someone into a relationship with Him, He doesn’t blindside them or catch them unprepared.

Read the Next Preview to find out why the Lost Tribes of Israel got lost and how God intends to write the last chapter of their story.

Read the Next Excerpt to see that according to Hosea the prophet, Israel’s downfall would one day lead to a new day of hope and restoration.

Read the Previous Preview to find out what really happened when Pilate asked Jesus the question we all want answered.

Read the Previous Excerpt to see that in another version, when Pilate asked, “What is truth?” he received a truly provocative response.

To read this series from the beginning, go to the First Preview to see if you can tell the difference between a genuine message from The Bible and a counterfeit version.

To hear Kent talk more about his book Fish Tales (From the Belly of the Whale), CLICK HERE.
To get a copy of Fish Tales (From the Belly of the Whale), CLICK HERE.
To hear an audio presentation of this chapter of Fish Tales, CLICK HERE.
Selected Bibliography

1. Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20

2. Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:14