I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.
And immediately He called them [James and John], and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him (Mk. 1:20)
Jesus found James and John at work mending their nets, possibly talking about this new teacher, Jesus. As disciples of John the Baptist, these brothers knew Jesus’ reputation. John had told them about Him and directed them toward Him. When they asked Jesus where He was staying, He invited them to “Come and see.” They did come and they spent the day with Him (Jn. 1:35-39). They knew Jesus was the way, the truth, and the life. When He invited them to become His friend and walk with Him, they said “yes”, entrusting their father into the hands of their servants. God transformed these “Sons of Thunder” into mighty men of God. These friends of Jesus were prone to act out of emotion (wanting to call down fire from heaven when the Samaritans did not respond to their message) and speaking before thinking (arguing over where they would sit in heaven right after Jesus announced His impending death). Yet, because of their close friendship with Jesus, they were indispensable in carrying forth the Gospel message. By the end of his life, James was the first apostle to be martyred and when Jesus was crucified, He entrusted His mother into the hands of John, the apostle whom He loved.
Like James and John, our friends, those we choose to walk through life with, will influence who we become. It is good for us to follow the example of these brothers. In his Letters to a Young Gentleman, Noah Webster offers this advice for choosing friends:
“In forming your connections in society, be careful to select for your companions, young men of good [behavior], and of virtuous principles and habits. . . You cannot always avoid some [communication] with men of dissolute lives; but you can always select, for your intimate associates, men of good principles and unimpeachable character
Are you walking with Jesus? James and John saw where He was and stayed with Him. Are you willing to form close friendships only with those who are following Jesus? When you choose to be a faithful follower of Jesus, He will take you home with Him not only for a day, but for eternity. This day, right now, is a good time to commit to forming friendships only with those who would bring life to your soul. Join Nokseng and people throughout the world boldly declaring, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.”