Music & the Spoken Word: Follow Him

As Jesus called his apostles to leave their nets, Jesus also calls you and me to follow Him, Lloyd Newell shares in this week’s ‘Music & the Spoken Word’

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This will be given Sunday, April 7, 2024.

“Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two [brothers], … Peter, and Andrew … , casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

“And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

“And going on from thence, he saw other two [brothers], James … , and John … , in a ship … , mending their nets; and he called them.

“And they immediately left the ship and … followed him” (Matthew 4:18-22).

In this way, Jesus called His first disciples, His apostles, who would labor with Him and testify of Him for the rest of their lives. They didn’t postpone or procrastinate. They dropped their nets, left their ships, and followed the Lord, in the words of the scriptures, “straightway,” “immediately.”

Such a simple description could give the impression that the choice to leave everything and follow Jesus was also simple. But surely it wasn’t. We can imagine that Peter, Andrew, James and John were relatively comfortable catching fish. They had probably been doing it for a while, and it was providing a living for their families. Now they were to leave all of that and be “fishers of men”? What did that mean? They likely felt unprepared and inadequate.

And yet, when the call came, they answered with willing hearts, without looking back. Acting with faith despite the uncertainty ahead, they followed Jesus Christ through difficulty and trial, hardship and heartache, until the end of His mortal life. Then, after His Resurrection, they continued to follow Him, spreading His gospel message in faithfulness and devotion.

In a similar way, Jesus also calls you and me to follow Him. He calls us to set aside self-centered pursuits. He calls us to keep His commandments. He calls us to love and serve our neighbor. He calls us to strive to be more like Him. And He calls us to extend the same invitation to others.

It will probably require leaving our nets — those entangling things that hold us back, that keep us from the Lord and His higher, holier ways. We may feel unprepared and inadequate. That’s where the Savior’s mercy and grace come in. With gentleness and love, He strengthens us. He supports us as we turn to Him, yield our hearts to Him and straightway, immediately follow Him.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL News Radio 1160AM/102.7FM,, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirecTV, SiriusXM (Ch. 143),, and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. Mountain Time on these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at

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