In reading Matthew 4:18-22, some thoughts have crossed my mind. The passage reads:
“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 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.”
For those who have trusted Jesus Christ as Savior, something significant happened when we entered into a relationship with Christ. That is, we were called to a life of followership. If we are to follow Jesus as we are called to, that means with no conditions, no negotiations, no contractual obligations. We are called to just follow.
It seems, however, the norm is that we have been quite happy to call ourselves Christians with little or no thought of following. It’s not that we denied Christ or have even done horrible things. As a matter of fact, some have mastered the codes of conduct of Christianity. Far too often we masquerade Christ with our own ways, more so than giving a clear reflection of the character and quality of Christ.
Following Jesus is about experiencing an ever-deepening intimacy with Christ. It’s about being in close proximity to the one we call Lord as He transforms us to be what He wants us to be. This results in a clear reflection of His character.
Yet, in a strange and twisted way, too many live out the Christian faith as though He exists to follow us that He exists to satisfy our demands. This is a dangerous distortion.
Following Jesus is simple in that the complexity of life is reduced to a single question, “Where is Christ on this issue?” or another way, “Am I on the road with Him?”
While the world around us loses itself in speculation and experimentation about the meaning of life, a follower has a singular and certain focus Christ. Wherever He is, is where the follower will be. Wherever He leads is the undaunted direction of the follower.
Christ calls us away from anything that stands between us and following Him. Life is ultimately better when we follow Christ, our Leader.