I got a little stuck looking at Matthew 4 today. I have heard several people speak about the word "immediately" in Scripture, and I have even spoken about it once before. Still, this struck me a bit this morning.
At our church a few weeks ago, our pastor was talking about when Matthew went to follow Jesus. He was talking about how Matthew probably had seen Jesus before. They had probably crossed paths and been at least familiar with one another. I had never thought about that. I don't know if it was true, but I had always pictured it as a complete strange making a completely strange request and having Matthew so thrown off by it that he was left curious. If Matthew knew who Jesus was, that would change the story a bit.
Either way in Matthew 4 we have the same type of situation. Simon, Andrew, James and John are all fishing and invited to follow Jesus. It appears they are at least familiar with Him, and either way, they leave their nets, their jobs, their everything and follow Him.
I am finally at the age that people want to throw everything aside to go fish (or watch horse races here in Louisville.) Jesus' invitation is to throw what is familiar, maybe safe, and follow Him. This invitation looks completely different depending on who hears it, but the response time is in the Gospels. I want to be defined by my relationship with Christ, and those who went before me followed immediately. They threw everything aside immediately and embraced what He had for them.
Some people who were marked by Jesus stayed in their hometowns, some were sent out, some were drawn near. No matter the direction, the response time and readiness is what has marked me. As for me and my house, I want to live ready, so we can respond immediately.