The Importance of the First Followers

Matthew 4:18-25

As Jesus walked along the seashore, he saw two brothers, Simon (also known as Peter) and Andrew, fishermen by trade, fishing with nets. “Follow my lead,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to start a movement.” So they began to follow. Then, he saw another pair of brothers, James and John Zebedee, who were in a boat fixing nets with their father. Jesus called them, and they followed, leaving their father behind.

They went around Galilee where Jesus taught in synagogues, preaching the message of hope, and curing anything that ailed the people. He was soon famous, even as far away as Syria. People started bringing others who were sick: the diseased, the deranged, the epileptic, the paralytic. And Jesus cured them. Soon great crowds were following him. People came from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and the other side of the Jordan River.

From one man with a message, to crowds from all over the place, Jesus starts a movement. Note the importance given to the first few followers. Of all the people to follow Jesus: Simon, Andrew, James and John are the most important people in the story. They took the biggest risk, and they, not Jesus, made the movement around Jesus happen.

In three minutes, here’s what happened on the beach and around Galilee that day, courtesy of Derek Sivers and the folks at TED.


Two questions to think about:

  1. If you’re leading, who are your first followers, and how can you make it be about them?
  2. If you’re following, who are you following and why?