Jesus, the light of the world, calls us to follow. Go and tell the news of God’s love. Cast the nets of grace wide, that all may see the glory of God. Go forth and shine with God’s light! May God—Source, Word, and Spirit— bless you with the radiance of love.
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 "Come, FOLLOW ME," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
These were the very first words that the first disciples heard from Jesus: “CCME, FOLLOW ME.”
18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "FOLLOW ME!"
These were also the last words of Jesus at His final moment with Peter at the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus recruited 12 students, trained them for 3 years, put them to the test with 11 passes and 1 failure, and then commissioned them to do what they were groomed for.
His recruitment of the Twelve was one-of-a-kind. No resume was submitted and no interview conducted.
Just a simple call, COME, FOLLOW ME! With that, and with the help of the Spirit of God, lives were changed, and lives kept on changing ever since.
That’s the power of discipleship. It doesn’t stop with one generation. It doesn’t impact just one generation.
Its influence goes beyond one generation. We can testify to that because we are now 2000 years away from the day Jesus spoke those words.
And we are still talking about it – making disciples. We are still calling people to FOLLOW CHRIST.
What exactly is this: COME, FOLLOW ME!
We need to understand this, because these simple words have been passed on from generations to generations.
We are called to FOLLOW Christ. We are called FOLLOWERS of Christ. And we are now calling people to FOLLOW Christ.
The best way to understand it is to take it plainly – FOLLOW CHRIST!
Spend time with me, you’ll know God and know how to live. WE ARE CALLED INTO A RELATIONSHIP – to be like Jesus
Jesus Christ will change them and teach them how this life ought to be lived.
If we look at what happened to the disciples AFTER they FOLLOWED Christ, I think we can get a clearer picture. They became LIKE Christ. Their lives were changed, no doubt. But it did not stop at that. The disciples began to BEHAVE like Christ – they preach the Kingdom of God, they heal the sick, they call people to repentance…
They became CHRIST on earth, in His absence. They ACT like Christ because that’s the purpose of life – serving God the Father.
What they have been seeing and experiencing in the 3 years with Jesus, now take place in their own lives.
The life and ministry of Jesus has, in a sense, been “reproduced” in them! They were now representing Christ on earth, saying and doing the same things.
That’s the purpose of our lives. We are called to be His disciples, to BE like Him and DO like Him. Strictly speaking, Jesus did not just call us to be saved.
Hear me correctly here. To be saved is God’s will, but that’s not all of God’s will. If God’s objective is to save us and give us HEAVEN, then He could very well bring us there the moment we accept Jesus.
It doesn’t make sense leaving us here in a fallen, sinful world, if getting to heaven is His objective for us. In fact, we should be going there earlier and not later.
Some says God’s objective is to give us eternal life. That’s not very accurate too.
Even in hell, you live forever. You don’t die in hell. You are separated from God but your soul lives forever. You have ‘eternal life’ in hell.
Whenever eternal life is mentioned, it is always in RELATIONSHIP with God. John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
God’s objective is more than that getting you into heaven and having you live forever. God wants you to RELATE with Him! How is your relationship with Him today? Do you know what He wants to see in you?
WE ARE CALLED TO BE HIS DISCIPLES – to walk with Him Jesus’ parting words to them re-emphasize His call.
Matt 28:19-20 “Therefore go and MAKE disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Repeat what you had experienced. Teach what you have been taught, which also means they are to teach them to teach others too. Jesus did not tell them to do anything new. They knew what He was talking about. They were in it for 3 years.
They were just told to copy what they’ve learnt. Thank God they were faithful to this call. We would not stand a chance of knowing Christ today, if they had not been faithful.
Now this baton has reached our hands. We are called to do the same. This is God’s plan. Frankly, it is not an option. It is a COMMAND.
We want to pass this on, to our children and our children’s children. Otherwise, Christianity is only one generation away from extinction. But the Lord has faith in us. We will commit to making disciples. WE ARE CALLED TO MAKE DISCIPLES – to serve God
We thank God that the first disciples did not simply wait for heaven to come They went out to make disciples, and then teaching them to do the same. They reproduce themselves. It will require certain commitment. It will require a deliberate effort. It cannot be haphazard.
They succeeded because they put their heart and soul into it. They were FAT – faithful, available, and teachable, and God used them. So are we today, if we put our lives in the hands of God. He will use what you offer Him. God will equip us, the way Jesus taught and equipped His disciples.
I looked at the Twelve that the Lord picked. The change in their lives did not happen overnight. Jesus took 3 years to teach them about the Kingdom of God. They learn from Him daily. Even after 3 years, the passing rate wasn’t 100%. One of them betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver. It wasn’t a crash course. It was a life journey, a 3-years walk with Jesus.
I was calculating the number of days. 3-year daily course = 1,095 days. If we spend a day per week, it will take us 21 years.
Learning to BE like Christ and DO like Christ is serious business. It requires time. It is a journey, not a destination. But spiritual growth does not happen by chance, and it does not happen automatically.
It is not about TRYING to be disciples, but TRAINING to be His disciples. The Lord trained them for 3 years, and by the grace of God, they changed the world.
Can we do the same for our generation? Of course, we can, by the grace of God. The Spirit of God will ensure that can happen. No doubt about that. But we will need to SPEND time with Jesus. We need to be TAUGHT and TRAINED, not in a haphazard way, but in a regular and consistent way.
It would be good to have something like an educational system, a curriculum, or a training regime, where learning takes place in a planned and progressive way.
Everything we know today we learn them, from the simplest task of brushing of our teeth, to the most complicated task like flying a plane.
If we set our hearts to learn, by the grace of God, I believe our lives can be changed in more ways than what we can imagine right now.
The Lord says, “If I can groom 11 faithful disciples in my lifetime, and leave the rest to His Spirit, I will be very fulfilled. It would be a life well-lived. Do I have 11?