Thursday, August 21, 2014

what it means to follow Jesus

And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Matthew 4:21-22

The call to Jesus' first few disciples is direct and demanding. He finds Peter, Andrew, James and John where they were, at their vocations and asks them to leave it all and to follow Him. This is what a Rabbi did. He gathered followers. But Jesus' approach was different than other rabbis. He did not wait for them to seek Him out as was commonly done. He selected them and asked them to join Him.

The stunningly swift response of the disciples tells us something of what it takes to follow Jesus. They left all they had behind. Boats, nets, fishing gear, even family were just left where they were. They turned from one life to learn and live another life. They abandoned it all for the chance to follow Jesus as their Teacher.

Rabbis with disciples in tow were a feature of Jewish life in the first century. John had his disciples... showing us that any popular teacher tended to gather serious followers. But Jesus would hand select His men. He would ask them to give it all up in order to devote themselves to Him. That is what it takes to follow Jesus. We must place following The Lord above every other concern in this life. And it is all worth walking away from in order to gain Jesus.

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