In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1:1-5

The Word was in the beginning, before the heavens and earth, before sunsets and the Pacific, before wildflowers and whales and strawberries and freckles. He was before all of it because He made all of it. The Word spoke the world into existence, which is perhaps why Jesus was called the Word. By His words came all that we know, and by His words come light and knowledge, healing and hope. The words Jesus spoke changed the course of history– along with the lives of twelve very ordinary men.

The disciples were an unconventional group made up largely of fishermen, and anarchist Zealot, and a thieving tax collector– none of whom would’ve scored very high on a likeability scale. They were rough around the edges and ranged from salt-of-the-earth and smelly to downright sketchy. They were loud, proud, greedy, defensive, skeptical, and independent, or some combination thereof, so it’s a wonder such men wholly responded to Jesus’ simple words in Mark 1:17: “Follow me.”

16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

19 And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.

20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him. (vv.16-20)

What in the world! They dropped everything and follow Him, just like that? We get a little more context regarding Simon Peter and Andrew in Luke 5:1-11.

And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.

And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.

And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

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 was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

Jesus had performed a miracle just before His audacious request. But still, it was crazy talk. So I have to imagine the words sounded different from Jesus than they would’ve from anyone else– anyone other than The Word. ”

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:4-5)

As strange as it is to imagine dropping everything familiar for what is entirely unknown, somehow the trade made sense. In Jesus is life, so His words transcend circumstances and break down barriers. They light up dark corners, removing fear, doubt, and self-preservation. They bring clarity and elevate our understanding of what’s real, true, and important. They take us from completely missing our purpose to seeing in neon that our only reason for being is to follow the one who spoke us into being.

The disciples gave up all they had to follow Jesus when He called them. For three years they sat under His teaching and listened to Him pray. They watched Him welcome children and honor the least of these. They heard Him tell jokes, laugh at their jokes, and be respectful to His mom. They witnessed Him heal the sick, defend His Father’s house, and chastise the self-righteous. With words.

And they stood helpless when He said no words on His way to the cross. So of course twelve ordinary men, initially full of hot air and void of purpose, became the very ones so changed by Jesus’ words that they would fearlessly take them to the ends of the earth.


Thank the Father for whatever words impacted your life most, such as your favorite Bible verse. And recommit to Him to read His Word and say His words to others.


  • Describe your first “Follow me” moment with Jesus.
  • Which words of Jesus do you cherish most?
  • How can you make our own words (particularly on social media) more like Christ’s words?