I wondered what I was seeing standing so proudly at the top of a mast at the harbor. The osprey is quite the accomplished “fisherman!” Ninety-nine percent of his diet is fish. He plunges feet first into the water from 30-50 feet up in the air and has a reversible outer toe! It can be moved either to the front of the foot or moved to the back of the foot. This gives him a two-toe formation forward or back for carrying off his fish.
In today’s verse Jesus invites two fisherman, Andrew and Simon-Peter, to join Him. Two more were then called; James and John (verse 21-22). All four responded immediately to the call. Jesus spoke in terms to which these fishermen could relate. Following Jesus would mean for them leaving their livelihood and putting people first. And like the osprey, they would need that flexible reversible toe. The disciples would be talking to people of all classes, races and religious backgrounds. Like Paul would later say, it was important to become all things to all people in order to save some for the sake of the Gospel (I Cor. 9:22-23).
Putting people first is not always my natural inclination. My own comfort or agenda often takes priority over God’s invitation. But the message of God’s grace is to be shared, and I need to relate the Gospel in a way others can understand. To become all things to all people means I need to find common ground. It means I need to ask questions and listen intently to their thinking before I share. Not only does this show respect but helps me know what they need to hear.
Lord, make me sensitive to the need of others.