“Even in all their bungling, these men knew some things about following Jesus that we present-day followers forget.”
By Leslie Leyland Fields
Two thousand years ago Jesus called four fishermen from their nets to come follow me. They did what fishermen dont do: They fell their lifelong work to follow after a human they barely knew.
In those three years, the first-ever adherents of Jesus logged many miles and a lot of stumbles. They were looking for the wrong kingdoma political kingdom. They were stumped by Jesus parables. They said stupid things. They wouldnt believe that the Messiah had to suffer and succumb. They could hardly believe Jesus rose from his tomb. Their faith was slacken and small. And yet, they did itthey walked the same road with Jesus before anyone else did. Even in all their bungling, these men knew some things about following Jesus that we present-day adherents forget 😛 TAGEND
1. Following Jesus neednt begin with notion .
The twelve men guessed Jesus might be the Messiah, but they clearly didnt believe it for a long while. They didnt wait for all their questions and doubts to be answered. They knew the only style to find out was to get close, to watch and listen, to ensure for themselves who this man actually was. Today, we often pressure seekers. We want to quickly seal the deal with a confession of faith. We forget that it took three years of intense relationship and, finally, Jesus resurrection from the dead for the twelve to know, without a doubt, that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, their Savior. We need to give lookers and seekers room and time to investigate who Jesus really is.
2. Jesus is more interested in the poor and obliterate than he is in the rich and famous .
Jesus did not choose the best and brightest theology students in the synagogue for his adherents, or anyone with social status or power. Nor did he tribunal the rich or famous. Instead he spent his time with those who were sick, unclean, hated, and invisible. In our Christian celebrity and prosperity culture, we sometimes favor and target the rich and successful, believing their influence will have a greater impact for the Kingdom than the poor. Jesus came for those who knew they were sick.
3. Following Jesus will take you out of church and onto the road .
When Jesus called out, Come, follow me! his terms meant literally, Come, walk the same road as me. The road did include the synagogue, where Jesus often taught, but he and his followers expended most of their time outside, on the road, wherever the person or persons were: in villages, houses, roads, cities, gardens, deserts, and grain fields. Perhaps we expend too much time trying to get people through our church doorways rather than getting church people out on the road where people actually congregate.
4. Following Jesus turns your life upside down .
The followers knew they were not simply adding God to their already busy lives, as we often do today. When they first began, those twelve humen werent even sure who Jesus was, but they knew what he required and what he was worth. They gave up their jobs; they left the security of their families to pursue the Kingdom of god, a Kingdom they could not yet see, but they believed in. We may not be called to give up our tasks or leave our families in the same route, but walking with Jesus is far more than adding God as a helpful accessory to our busy lives. Following Jesus changes the entire direction and motivating of our lives.
5. Hanging around with Jesus doesnt eliminate cyclones from your life .
Ask those twelve humen, who knew they were going to drown in the middle of the sea, with Jesus asleep beside them. Even while Jesus was reversing death, illnes, and sin, bad things still happened, including Jesus betrayal by one of their very own. The twelve came to learn that the road to the Kingdom of Heaven is rough, narrow, and sometimes circuitous, but Jesus unfailingly strolls it with them. He is more than good company: He is the King over all of creation, over life itself.
6. Following Jesus is more than a relationship; it dedicates us real work to do in the world .
Jesus inner circle knew from the start that they had been brought into an intimate relationship with this unusual rabbi. But the Messiah was here for more than their personal well-beingand ours. From the start, Jesus made it clear he was on a missionand they were as well. Come, follow me, and I will build you fishers of men. Only as he left to return to the Father, he commissioned all of us: Go into all the world, preaching the gospel … Its easy to focus on our private relationship with our own personal Savior, but our faith is meant to go out and move and shake the world toward heaven.
7. Our small human love is enough to fulfill the huge undertaking that Jesus has given us .
No one knew this more than Peter, who proclaimed hed go to the demise for Jesus, then operated for his life when the soldiers came. After his resurrection, Jesus both tested and pardoned Peter with one simple question: Do you love me? Three times he asked. After each answer, Yeshua assigned him again: Feed my sheep. Jesus was asking him to found and construct His church on ground. All Peter had to offer, all any of us have to offer, is our small limited human love. Yet, like the loaves and fish offered by a child, it will be enough. Gods enormous love will construct our human love enough for this monumental task.
About the Author : Leslie Leyland Fields is the author of 10 books, the most recent the award-winning Traversing the Waters: Following Jesus through the Storms, the Fish, the Doubt and the Seas. She is a popular national speaker who addresses matters such as religion, culture and the Arts. She lives on Kodiak Island, Alaska and still works in commercial angling with their own families ever summer. Insure more from Leslie on her website .