And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
But the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the people of Judah could not drive out, so the Jebusites dwell with the people of Judah at Jerusalem to this day.
Today’s key verses illustrate the difference between the wholehearted devotion of Jesus’ disciples and the half-hearted obedience of the Israelites.
Joshua 15:63 is tucked in the middle of lists of newly occupied cities and almost seems like an aside. But it spells trouble. The people were to drive out ALL the inhabitants of the land. This lack of obedience is evidence that the people were not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord. This small misstep will fester and multiply so that after only two generations, the people will have turned away to worship other gods. God’s command to drive out all of the inhabitants was to protect the people from idolatry. God calls us to obey for our own good!
Meanwhile, in Luke’s gospel, we read of Jesus calling his first disciples by the Sea of Galilee (or Lake of Gennesaret). This is the third time this event is recorded in the gospels; it is also found in Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20.
In each of the three Gospels, it seems as if these men barely know Jesus – and they just suddenly decide to leave their professions and livelihood to follow a virtual stranger (albeit a famous stranger!) But in reality, they had spent almost a year with Jesus prior to this scene. The first four chapters of John occur chronologically before this event. So these men had plenty of opportunities to witness Jesus’ ways and work. It is only after they have spent considerable time with Jesus that He asks them to make such a drastic commitment.
In the same way, Jesus gives us time to learn his ways and work. Be warned… eventually, he will ask for your whole heart. As we struggle to surrender, we must remember that all He asks of us is for our own good!