Sunday, April 23, 2006
I’ve heard the re-telling of the story of Jesus calling his disciples more times than I can remember, but I’m seeing something fresh lately. In fact, it would be safe to say that I’m seeing the story in a whole new way. For example, Jesus invites them to “Come and follow” him. Following Jesus speaks about constant change. Jesus wasn’t exactly what you’d call a “fading flower” or a “homebody”. Nor is He now… Following implies moving and moving means the scenery of life is always changing. I’ve finally come to the powerful realization that following Jesus means that boldly going where you’ve never been before is the norm. Following is not for the faint of heart, but it’s the only place where the action really is!
The second “aha” in this passage has to do with the first part of a great promise that Jesus makes in the conversation. “He says, I will make you…” Up to this point, the disciples were fishermen. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…) But choosing to follow Jesus meant that there would be some BIG changes coming, because Jesus is all about “making” us into someone new and fresh. What’s really amazing is that Jesus always makes us into better people with a bigger purpose than what we’ve ever been or had before. Not only that, but the “making” never ends, as long as we keep following Him. That being said, it only follows that if there is no fresh “making” in our lives, perhaps we’ve stopped following….
Finally, it strikes me that while on the one hand Jesus called the disciples to follow for a lifetime, on the other hand, they only really followed for 3 ½ years and then they began to lead. The underlying message for me is that if you are serious about following Jesus, at some point you are going to be a leader because that’s what He does with us. That’s why the bible calls us Kings and Priests in the New Testament and “the head not the tail” in the Old Testament. Leading is all about influencing. Influencing translates into guiding, bringing about positive change, proactive engagement and building bridges into new territory. What an exciting and incredible place to be!
Keep following - He will make you into a leader!!