The Call to Radical Obedience: Leaving All to Follow Jesus

By Jeff Wittmer

by Danielle Dolin

In the dusty villages of Galilee, Jesus extended a revolutionary invitation to ordinary men: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). This call was not merely an invitation to join a movement; it was an invitation to leave everything behind and embark on a transformative journey into the heart of the kingdom.

The Weight of the Net:

In the narrative of the disciples leaving their nets to follow Jesus, we find a profound metaphor for relinquishing our worldly attachments. The nets symbolize the entanglements of our lives—material pursuits, worldly ambitions, and the temporal securities that often ensnare us. The call to follow Jesus necessitates a deliberate act of leaving behind the familiar and embracing the unknown.

Radical Obedience:

Jesus didn’t invite the disciples to a comfortable life but to radical obedience. In leaving their nets, they embraced a life characterized by faith, trust, and unwavering commitment to the teachings of the unseen kingdom. Luke 9:23 captures the essence of this commitment, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Learning the Ways of the Kingdom:

To follow Jesus is to enter into a profound learning experience. The disciples walked with the Master, observed His ways, and internalized the principles of the kingdom. Similarly, our journey involves a continuous process of spiritual formation—immersing ourselves in scripture, prayer, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The Promise of Transformation:

As the disciples followed, they were not left unchanged. Jesus promised to make them fishers of men, signaling a transformative purpose for their lives. Likewise, our willingness to leave everything behind is met with the promise of a life infused with divine purpose and a heart aligned with God’s redemptive work.

In the footsteps of the disciples, we are beckoned to leave behind the nets that entangle us—the comfort zones, the securities, and the worldly attachments. Embracing the call to follow Jesus is an invitation to embark on a radical, transformative journey where we learn the ways of the kingdom and discover the unparalleled joy of walking in the footsteps of the Savior.


Jeff Wittmer is a Certified Life Coach, entrepreneur, and trainer of coaches and leaders. He founded Burning Bush Life Coaching and California Coaching Collaborative, which offers Certification Credentials for Life Coaches. In addition to coaching, Jeff has been a lead pastor, church planter, motivational speaker, and most recently, an instructor at Bethel School of Ministry in Redding, California, where he lives with his lovely wife, Sheri, and the rest of his crew. Jeff’s goal as a communicator is to awaken people to their God-given brilliance, raising their spiritual intelligence and empowering them to live a more abundant and vibrant life.

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