Monday, May 25, 2009

Follow the Leader

We almost all had the joy of playing 'Follow the Leader' in our childhood. I have to admit that I wasn't that great, because I am way to much of the big picture person to get wrapped up in the details of each command. Well, there is another 'Follow the Leader' question that was much more life changing than this childhood game.

The relationship of the disciples to Christ began with a simple invitation -"Follow me." Theologians have written much about these words as they relate to Rabbinic invitations to learn and the Hebraic tradition. But putting all that aside, I believe it is a truly simple yet profound place to begin. As I begin this journey, these words echoed in my mind. Am I willing to follow Jesus these weeks and months ahead where He will lead? Like Peter, am I willing to put aside my 'nets' - all those things that make me feel at home and valued, and follow Him?

If Jesus met you at your work today and invited you to follow Him, what would you do? Would you put down the pen, put aside the keyboard, put down the tools and simply walk away?

As I process this question, if it had been asked after the disciples had spent a year with Jesus, it might make more sense. But, at the beginning, all they knew was any little interaction they had had with others in learning about Jesus. So what was so compelling about this man that caused them to set life aside for Him? What did they see and experience that would change everything?

Today, I am willing to say "I'll try." Will you join me?


  1. One of the key differences between Jesus calling his first disciples and calling us to be his disciples is that for the first disciples, they would have gladly followed a rabbi. That's how they were raised- and to have a rabbi come call them! Wow! That's huge. Of course they'd leave everything. They were so compelled to learn from and be part of a rabbi's clan and movement, they'd give up everything to do so! But we may not be so inclined- and THAT is the challenge. Where it was a no-brainer for the first disciples, it has become a question for us- we are too compelled by other matters in our lives.

    Of course, eventually, even the disciples who said, "yes" without hesitation had to wrestle through whether they would continue to follow. Jesus has to ask them, "Will you leave me too?" They had the option to leave- Jesus will speak to that in the passage in Luke about counting the cost- but the bigger question sometimes is NOT will you follow jesus? But "will you STILL follow Jesus?" When he walks a path of suffering and pain, will you still follow? When he walks through the valley of the shadow of death, will you still follow? When he asks you give up what you have and give to the poor? When he tells you to die to yourself, serve others, love enemies, turn the other cheek? I think that's the challenging question for me and so many others- will you still follow? And I mean, REALLY follow? Not just *say* you'll follow, but really grow deeper and follower, dig deeper and follow, grit your teeth and follow, stay "stuck" with him and follow even when you don't want to stay "stuck with him?" THAT seems to be the challenge of the gospel...

  2. I agree that their culture created value for the invitation. So what must we do to bring value to the invitation once again? How did the relationship that Andrew and John found with Christ impact Simon's response? Do I facilitate the invitation or am I more in the way?