The call to follow Christ
In the gospel of Matthew 4:18-22, we have Jesus’ call to his disciples. Few of us today receive a call to follow Christ requiring the sacrifice of those first disciples of Christ. Few are asked to leave their homes, families or occupations. For the most part, Christ’s call to us is to “bloom where we are planted.” His desire for us is to be everything he created us to be exactly where he has placed us.
However, the call to follow our Savior still has several essential elements, the same for us as for those original disciples. Has Jesus called you? Can you acknowledge a specific time in your life when you heard his voice call to you, identifying you as his child and his desire to use you and walk with you on this journey called “life?”
Second, Jesus’ call requires an action. The disciples immediately left their nets and followed him. Jesus’ call is intentional and with purpose. Jesus has a plan and he is ready to act.
Third, Jesus’ call requires a response. Anything besides “yes” is a “no.” So many times we wish to say “later” or “let me do this first.” Jesus responded in another teaching that to follow him requires a willingness to trust him, that he understands the situation and our needs better than we do.
Fourth, the call to follow Christ will require an ability to persevere. There will be difficult times and difficult choices to be made. Sometimes our faith will have to come into play, we won’t be able to see but we will have to trust him on the journey.
Fifth, is the reward, the blessing for accepting the call of Christ. When we become his follower, Jesus will transform us and change our perspectives on how we view our life. For the world and the flesh, “get all you can and do all you can; because when it is over, it’s over.” The one who has chosen to follow Christ realizes he is a blessing to his creator. He identifies his purpose in all of creation. He has the capacity to be loved and to truly love others, because he has experienced the love God has for him. Most importantly, everything we accomplish here for him will “live on” in eternity. The rewards gained on earth will go with us to Heaven. It’s not over at death, it’s only just begun.
Where are you on this journey? Have you heard Jesus’ call? Have you left the ways of this world? Jesus doesn’t just want us to follow him, but to truly become his disciple.