“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
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.
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.
I 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.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
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?
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.