Saturday, November 1, 2014

NTDS (5): When Jesus Calls

Matt 4:19 "Come, follow me…”  NIV

Most of us have heard the story many times of Jesus calling His first disciples to “follow Him.” It would not have been considered unusual for Jesus to have disciples, as all rabbis had followers or disciples. However, the norm for a rabbi in this time period was that their disciples would come to them and make known their desire to learn from them. But in the case of Jesus, He “called” them.

Now, the following verses say that these first four disciples, Andrew, Peter, James and John, who were fisherman by trade, immediately followed Jesus. That could give us the impression that it was the first time they had seen him and that by some magical attraction they followed, but according to the books of John and Luke, we know that these men already had some contact with Jesus. In fact, Andrew had been a follower of John the Baptist, who was now in prison. That in no way detracts from the fact that when Jesus called, they followed immediately. To be so willing to leave the life they knew seems to indicate that they knew that this rabbi was different than others they may have heard. As we follow them in the gospel accounts, we see that they had no idea how different!

I would venture to guess that when Jesus called you to follow Him, you didn’t know all that you were in for either. These men, whether they realized it or not were acting on faith when they decided to follow Jesus. So too were you when you made that first commitment to follow Him. It is the beginning of a lifetime journey of faith.

Some would use the calling of these four men to say that when Jesus calls you, He let’s you know what He is calling you to. He told these professional fishermen that He would make them “fishers of men.” I highly doubt that they understood what that really meant. If you look at the calling of Matthew, Jesus said only, “follow me” and Matthew did. Once again, it was an act of pure faith.

Isn’t it a wonderful thing that God gave us the measure of faith necessary to follow Jesus when He called us? Whether you took Him up on His first call or followed after many calls does not matter. What matters is that you are following Him now.

The challenge for us is, will we move from being a follower of Christ to true disciple? The word disciple in Greek means “learner,” but we can see in the gospel accounts that learning meant more than just knowing about Jesus. It meant becoming more like Him. Are you becoming more like Jesus on your journey of faith?

In the book of Luke, Jesus teaches us that to be a disciple we must desire to follow Him more than we desire the things of this world, more than possessions, more than even family relationships (Lk 14). This is the life He calls us to. It is also a life filled with blessing. Luke 18:29-30 And He said to them, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life."  NASU

I pray for those of you who have answered the call of Jesus, that you would follow him with all you heart, soul, mind and strength. It is well worth the difficulties that may come when compared with the reward of eternal life with Jesus. Rom 8:18-19
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Maybe you have not yet answered His call on your life. Maybe you didn’t even realize He is calling you. He is. Today is the day that you need to answer that call! Put your faith in Him and follow Him. You will never regret that decision!

If you need help in how to answer that call, look at the right hand side of the page, where you will see “How to become a Christian.”

God bless you,

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