Imagine … you are a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. You have been working hard, mending your nets, in hopes of a big catch. Fishing is your livelihood and the means by which you care for your family. It is not a solo expedition, but it requires teamwork, trust, and down right hard, exhausting work.
You are going about your business, loading your boat full of nets, when this man approaches you and your fishing partner. Plenty of people walk the shores of the Sea of Galilee but this person is different. You’ve seen him before. You know him as the Rabbi, the teacher, one who knows and speaks the Scriptures. His loving yet mysterious eyes look deep into your heart causing incredible curiosity. You know your past, the reality of your current life, and yet, there is no condemnation whatsoever in this man’s gaze. Instead, his eyes communicate compassion, understanding, hope, and love. He calls out one simple word, “Come.” Your heart starts to race. There is something incredibly powerful and intriguing about that word. What could it mean? Leave everything? Drop my nets? Give up my livelihood of fishing?
But the next words are what really grip your soul. He says, “follow me”. “Come” sounded a bit scary. It was as if he was asking you to go figure out life on your own. Yet with the words, “follow me”, you see his hand extended. It is an invitation to walk beside him, to learn from him, to be his disciple. “Come, follow me”, communicates, “I will show you the path. I will walk with you on the journey. I will hold your hand. I don’t promise that it will be an easy road, but I do promise to be with you.”
Culturally speaking this is just weird. Normally, a follower, a disciple, would approach a teacher, and after making the appropriate preparations, ask if they could follow him. Yet this man is asking you to follow him – just as you are. A true rabbi would only want to invest in someone who had potential or position in society. Neither are true and really quite the opposite. How could this man Jesus be calling a broken, messy, confused fisherman to follow his way?
But he is. So you drop your nets, leave everything behind and follow. The road ahead looks like an exciting adventure as well as an exhausting, arduous journey. You have feelings of trepidation mixed with anticipation. Yet, the overarching emotions are those of trust, hope and unconditional love. Taking on Jesus’ kingdom vision, means relinquishing your desire to build your own. It is a radical change of both direction and purpose. Your life goal, your focus, and your motivations have been transformed and following Jesus means living for something far greater. “Come, follow me” is an invitation to walk in The Way.
Director of Counseling & Soul Care