“Find a job” — Google offers nearly four billion options
“Find direction in life” — Google provides more than one billion options
“Follow me” — Jesus issues one personal invitation
Where are they going? What will they be doing? It must be more than an invitation to a task or a tour, but what?
I found great comments on these passages:
- Jon Courson reminds his readers that Jesus’ invitation to follow him was not to “take a course in evangelism.” He didn’t say, “Study this book, go to this seminar, or practice this technique.” He said, “If you hang out with Me, I’m going to be changing you, and inevitably you’ll become like Me—a fisher of men” (Jon Courson’s Application Commentary).
- Stu Weber notes that Jesus was saying, “Live with me and learn by watching me. Own my values and priorities. Learn to become passionate for the things I live for. And follow my example by doing the ministry I have come to do” (Matthew, Vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary).
- Bruce Barton says that to follow means “to accept Jesus as authority, to pursue his calling, to model after his example, to join his group. Jesus was asking these men to become his disciples and to begin fishing for people. ‘Follow’ is the major term for discipleship in the Gospels. Disciples in Jesus’ day literally followed their masters around and imitated them. Jesus required his disciples to give him their allegiance, daily count the cost of commitment, and serve others as he did (Matthew, Life Application Bible Commentary).
I love Dann Spader’s observation that this is not Jesus’ first encounter with the men. Jesus’ invitation took place at least eighteen months into his ministry, so they had been following Jesus for several months.
“But in this episode,” Spader notes, “Jesus challenges them to go deeper. They move from simply following Him to becoming His ministry team” (4 Chair Discipling: What He Calls Us to Do).
What does “deeper” look like for you? Maybe we should ask Jesus, “What do you want deeper to look like in our relationship?”
Whatever it is, it will be good. But let it be an adventure that Jesus directs. I’m too often guilty of following Jesus for a few steps and then calling it quits. Other times, I follow right up until the moment I get uncomfortable. Jesus wants more. And deep down, I do, too.
How about you? Are you ready to follow Jesus on an adventure? You won’t be bored on this journey. You may be scared, but you’ll be safe. Let’s follow Jesus and see what happens.
QUESTION (leave a comment below)
In what way is Jesus asking you to follow him this week?