“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

Mark 1:17

 

When Jesus came upon Simon (whom we know better as Peter) and Andrew, his brother, he called to them, “Come, follow me.” Notice that Jesus did not say, “Come, believe in me.” Of course Simon and Andrew wouldn’t have followed Jesus unless they believed that he was worthy of following. But, we must note carefully that Jesus invited Simon and Andrew to take action, to do something in response to his invitation, and not merely to believe and go back to fishing.

A sheep all alone on a path looking for directionI do not mean to minimize the importance of believing the right things about Jesus. Believing that he is Lord and Savior is essential for entering into a saving, transforming relationship with him. But, all too often Christians have emphasized believing without recognizing the necessary connection between believing and acting.

Jesus does not call us merely to believe that he is the Savior. Rather, he calls us to put our trust in him as our Savior, to confess our sin and receive forgiveness through his grace.

Jesus does not call us merely to believe that he is the Lord. Rather, he calls us to acknowledge him as our Lord, which we do by submitting our entire life to him.

Jesus does not call us merely to observe how he once summoned Simon and Andrew to follow him. Rather, he calls us to follow him today. We do not have the opportunity to follow Jesus in a literal way, as did the first disciples. But we do have the privilege of following Jesus in all that we do, in our work, our families, our citizenship, our church participation, and so much more.

Something to Think About:

In your own life, how is belief in Jesus related to following Jesus actively?

Can you think of ways that believing in Jesus has changed your behavior?

How might you actively follow Jesus in every sector of your life, including your work?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank you for the summons to follow you. Thank you for calling us in this way, even as you once called Simon and Andrew. Help us, Lord, to believe the right things about you. And help us to live in response to the truth of who you are and what you proclaim. May we follow you today in all that we do. Amen.

 

Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online Bible commentary: The Calling of the First Disciples: Mark 1:16-20.

4 Comments

  • we are all gifted by God to walk out our calling in whatever path and profession it may be. Through his gifting, abilities, talents and all our experiences and the wisdom we are able to garner from these, we are equipped to serve those along our path at work, at church, in our families, neighborhood, wherever he leads us we are to follow as Simon and Andrew. Immediately they followed him.

  • This may be the first time it has registered with me that Jesus asked his disciples to “follow” him before they “believed” in him. To follow Jesus will be the path on which a person learns how to “act” as a believer – speak truth, show compassion, befriend all, share life… and so much more. Observing Jesus as a follower of his leads us to believe, trust and act as he acts. Following Jesus is a step believers cannot skip if they are to be Christ’s Ambassadors.

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