• P. Frank

Jesus: The Career Changer

When you consider a career change, there are many factors that you have to take into account: pay and benefits, the amount of vacation and sick leave, the location of the job, whether you will be traveling for work or be able to work from home, etcetera. If you have children, a career change that requires you to move will uproot them from their familiar school setting and friends. If your spouse also works, changing careers forces them to change theirs on some level as well.

Why do people choose to change their careers? Some can no longer stand working in their current position. Some need a better fit for their skills or a change of scenery. Some are unfortunately forced into a career change when they are laid off or fired. For whatever reason, and under whatever circumstances, a career change is among one of the most stressful events in life. It ranks only behind the death of a loved one, marriage or divorce, moving, or a major illness or injury. So, I think we can all agree that changing careers is a pretty major and stressful event in life. Uncertainty in a new career, without taking your concerns to God in prayer, can lead down the dark path to fear.

Today, we read about ordinary men who experienced a monumental change in careers. However, their change was not monumental for only their own lives, but was instead part of a larger picture that helped shape the rest of the world from that point forward. These ordinary men were lowly fishermen: Simon Peter, his brother Andrew, James, and his brother John. When Jesus was ready to begin His ministry on earth, He needed disciples whom He could teach. Jesus needed disciples who, once He was no longer with them on earth, would faithfully take His message of salvation to all the ends of the earth.

“On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on [Jesus] to hear the Word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and He saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon [Peter]'s, He asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when He had finished speaking, He said to Simon [Peter}, ‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ And Simon [Peter] answered, ‘Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at Your word I will let down the nets.’ And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.’ For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon [Peter]. And Jesus said to Simon [Peter], ‘Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.’ And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.” (Luke 5:1–11).

These ordinary fishermen were called to follow Jesus. The miraculous catch of fish Jesus had just provided them as proof of His Almighty power would have rendered a very large sum of money, a large “CHRISTmas Bonus.” However, we are told that they left everything behind and followed Jesus, immediately. The course of their lives suddenly and completely redirected away from catching fish to catching men’s hearts, minds, and souls for God.

Thanks be to God that He called faithful men who would try to fulfill His Great Commission for the rest of their lives. These faithful disciples of Jesus Christ are why you and I are able to now read, understand, and believe God’s Word today! Let us also fearlessly take part in His Great Commission and spread the great news of salvation brought to us all by Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection! Let us also be fishers of men.

“Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18–20).