June 02, 2013

An Immediate Yes

Mark 1:14-20

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.


—Mark 1:17-18

When out of nowhere, a wild stranger threw a smelly cloak over him while he was plowing, Elisha knew it was an invitation to join a prophet of God in his work (1 Kings 19:19-20). But how would he respond?

If I had been in that field, I would have wanted some time to think it over, consider all the consequences of my decision, and ponder whether Elijah would be a good teacher. But that’s not what Elisha did. His response was an immediate yes and a compassionate goodbye. Knowing that he might never return home again, he stopped his plowing and put on a big feast. By burning his equipment and slaughtering his oxen, Elisha signaled that he would not be turning back from this call. (See 1 Kings 19:21.)

In today’s verses, Jesus meets Simon, Andrew, James, and John as they are fishing and mending their nets. He calls out, “Come, follow me!”—and their response is like Elisha’s. “At once,” Mark says, they left everything behind and followed Jesus.

If I had been one of them, I probably would have needed some time to think about it and finish my work for the day before dashing off after Jesus.

How often do I miss an opportunity to follow God’s leading because I am unsure or afraid of the consequences? Have you ever wondered that as well?

Lord, you invite us to follow you. If we say yes, we know we will never be the same. Help us to say yes and to bring your good news to all. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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