As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fisherman. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.(Mt 4:18-20)
Simon Peter takes his first step toward the cross in this account in Matthew’s gospel. As we read in devotions and heard from our pastors, Peter is instantly obedient to Christ. We are encouraged to model our own behavior on this sacrificial submission, leaving everything behind and following Him. Though it may be unspoken, there is a subtle underlying message that weighs on our souls: the glory of the passing Lord and His invitation to follow Him should be sufficient for a complete break with our previous life.
Reality is rarely this simple.
We desperately want to follow the Lord, shouldering our cross and never turning back, but our self-love often overpowers our Christ love. Struggle with our worldly selves and desires often marks our steps more than piety when we follow the Lord. The temptation in our weaker moments is to set down the cross for a less strenuous form of Christianity. As we follow Peter toward the cross at Calvary, we will discover that despite this initial bright moment, he struggles in many of same ways we do. Faith in the Spirit carries us both forward.