A Decision of the Feet

We often talk about spiritual decisions being either decisions of the heart or of the head, meaning those decisions are either based on feeling or thinking.  But when it comes to the decision to follow Jesus, what we’re really talking about is a decision of the feet.

Matthew 4:18-22 is the account of Jesus calling the first disciples — Peter and Andrew, and James and John — two sets of brothers, two families of fishermen.  Matthew records the action this way —

“As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting  a net into the sea — for they were fishermen.  And he said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”  Immediately they left their nets and followed him.”  — Matthew 4:18-20 NRSV

The same scene repeats itself with James and John, the Sons of Thunder.  “Immediately they left their boat and their father, and followed him.”

Decisions of the heart and head may be internal and individual.  But decisions of the feet are public, obvious, and practical.  When the Bible says, “They followed him” it literally means they not only felt and thought that Jesus was someone special, but their feet decided to go where Jesus went, and they followed him quickly, immediately, and irrevocably.  Decisions of the feet might be what we need more of today.

6 thoughts on “A Decision of the Feet”

  1. Chuck, this is the passage I will be preaching on this coming Sunday…hope you don’t mind if I borrow a little of what you’ve said here. This is a short, seemingly simple little passage, but there is so much we all as Christians still need to hear. Thanks for your ministry!


  2. Bryon, thanks and help yourself. I’m sure I borrowed whatever I think from someone else. I’m struck by the instant response of these first disciples who left everything (and probably a mad father, too) to follow Jesus. Blessings on your preparation for this important text. -Chuck

  3. I think their feet moved because their heads and hearts were prepared. In their case they had already made Messiah, Jesus, the center of their lives. What decisions would we make if Jesus was truly the center of our lives?

  4. Pastor, I enjoy reading your blog! Thank you for this post, many times we don’t physically follow Jesus because our hearts and minds are not prepare. I think fowollowing Jesus requires a great amount of courage, love, and determination, it is the greatest challenge, but the sweetest of all.


  5. I had to make a decision with my feet – I had to decide to leave the church I had attended for many years when I discovered that both the senior pastor and executive pastor had a long standing relationship with the liberal views and other absurdities espoused on this web site. When I discovered that, unbeknownst to anyone in the pews in our churcch, the pastors had signed a letter essentially condemning Wal-Mart and another supporting global warming legislation, I had to decide with my feet – to leave the church, that is. Neither of them is an economist or a scientist, but they have no problem supporting what are essentially political causes of the left. Wal-Mart is targetted because they are evil capitalists whose employees aren’t unionized. Global warming – according to this web site – is the most important moral issue of our times. No letters were sent by these so-called “church leaders” to abortion providers, hateful union organizations who mistreat their members systematically, or similar businesses and organizations. I thought these fringe liberal ideas were bad enough when promoted by MSNBC, but when I discovered they were shared by the leadership of our church, I had to leave. At least this web site provides one valuable service, it identifies those individuals who are associated with the Baptist Center for Ethics even if the individuals won’t tell their own congregations and allows us decide with our feet to leave and find more conservative, more Christ-centered churches. [By the way, those crazy people with guns at the rallies you mentioned, just might have read and believed in the 2nd Amendment – that might be the point they’re making – not the point, you assume, that they’re planning on shooting some politician.]

  6. Rick, thanks for your comments. Obviously, you and I see things differently. Let me address a couple of things in your remarks. First, I am not familiar with the specific letter that you say your pastor and executive pastor signed criticizing WalMart and supporting legislation to curb climate change. If you had followed the instructions of Jesus to talk to these brothers that you felt had erred, then you might have resolved the issue amicably. It might not have resulted in your leaving that congregation, or if it had, at least you would have known their reasons for the actions you say they took.

    As to “those individuals who are associated with the Baptist Center for Ethics” my church does know that I have written an occasional column that has been picked up by for EthicsDaily.com. By the way, they don’t print everything I write because they don’t always agree with me!

    Finally, my concern in the article When Tea Partiers Come to Church, was to identify what I believe are undertones of racism in the 99% white, middleclass, affluent Tea Party movement. As I stated, most TP’ers are fine folks, but its the radical fringe of any group that concerns me. You may disagree with me on this issue, but I am not the first to see a link between the antics of some who ridicule our president because he is African-American, and those who denied African-Americans the basic liberties enjoyed by whites in our society. Intimidation through firearms display is an old tactic that continues, unfortunately, to this day. I do believe it is very Christ-centered to take seriously Jesus instruction in the Sermon on the Mount when he said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.”

    While we certainly disagree, I hope you will find more biblical ways to deal with those who disagree with you in the future, specifically by following Matthew 18:15-17. Oh, and there’s also the business about loving one another in John’s Gospel. Those are pretty important concepts in following Jesus, in my estimation. Thanks for your comments. -Chuck

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