January 03, 2021

Follow Me

Mark 1:16-20

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said.

—  Mark 1:17

I wonder why Jesus specifically called these first four disciples. It seems rather random, but maybe Jesus already knew them and was guided by the Spirit of God to single them out.

We also aren’t sure why they dropped everything and followed him immediately. It could be, as some have said, that the opportunity to follow a great teacher was prized as the opportunity of a lifetime.

But what we are told is simply this: Jesus calls, and they follow. God speaks, and it happens, as in the creation story in Genesis. “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). That’s pretty impressive.

In the churches I have served there would often be sign-up sheets and calls for volunteers to serve in one way or another. But Jesus isn’t looking for short-term volunteers to be disciples. He calls us to full, life-changing commitment, and his choosing makes it happen.

But he does not require us to know everything about faith or to have all the answers about the deep questions of life. He knows that in following him we will grow to understand and know him as the Lord of our lives. Even so, we won’t always follow him perfectly or even particularly well. We will not always be great examples of faith, but he will keep shaping us to be examples of what it means to follow Jesus!

Lord Jesus, help me to follow you with my whole life and being. And when I don’t do very well, teach me and help me to grow and be faithful. Amen.

About the author — Douglas MacLeod

Rev. Douglas MacLeod is a church pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has served as a pastor for over 36 years with five congregations in Michigan and Iowa. He and Cathy, his wife of 40+ years, are grateful for their three children and four grandchildren.

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