“So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5:11)
In 1876, Western Union, then the big player in the telegraph business, was offered the patent for the newly invented telephone for a mere $100,000—that’s roughly $2 million in today’s money. The company’s president, William Orton, turned down the proposal. He thought the telephone was a silly, novelty invention that would never catch on. He even called Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone (on the phone!), to tell him personally.
Just two years later, the burgeoning telephone was all the rage. Everyone in the country wanted one, and Orton realized he had passed on the business opportunity of a lifetime. All he had known were telegrams, and he simply couldn’t see the potential in a device that allowed people to talk to each other from a great distance. To say he missed out big time would be an understatement.
In the Gospels, Peter made a lot of mistakes, but when Jesus first called him to be a disciple, he understood the value of what he was being offered. To follow Jesus was worth giving up everything, and that’s precisely what he and his good friends James and John did. They left their business, their boats, their fishing equipment, and the largest catch of fish they’d ever made (supernaturally supplied by Jesus) to follow Christ (Luke 5:11).
To the world, that may have looked like a foolish choice. Peter’s fishing business was his livelihood, and with that latest haul, he stood to make a lot of money. Besides that, the Bible tells us that Peter was married (Matthew 8:14), so he needed to provide. Following an itinerant rabbi like Jesus wasn’t exactly a path to stability. But Peter knew that following Jesus is worth more than anything the world can offer. It is worth paying any price.