Wednesday, October 04, 2006

the call of every disciple

In his incarnate ministry on earth, Jesus gathered many whom he called disciples. There were the masses that followed after. The group of 70 men whom he sent out. The group of 12 men whom would be drawn into deeper fellowship with him. The three, Peter, James and John. Jesus did not chose his twelve by their vast knowledge of the Scriptures or their honor among the people as skilled in their profession. He chose men of many backgrounds, of many personalities to found his church on. Often I find myself humbled that the God of the universe would chose me to follow him.
As we know from the Scriptures, the disciples, once hid themselves, locked in a room following his arrest, persecution, and death. They then were transformed with the empowerment of the Spirit following his resurrection. Indeed, God’s power has been given to us as children of the new covenant. Yet, I see in the disciples, something changed, something affected in them by their time with the Master. And I hear his voice, “follow me”.
I think of Peter and Andrew, James and John in their fishing boats, tending to the nets on the shore. Jesus is walking by, and he stops. He looks Peter directly in the eye, lifts his hand out to Peter, motioning him to come and says, “follow me”. The draw of the Master is too great for Peter to resist. He drops his net, steps out of the boat into the cold water and onto the shore, to Jesus, to the Master. Jesus then looks to Andrew, eye to eye they meet, and again Jesus calls, “follow me”. The invitation pulling so strong, as though Andrew can do no other, he drops his net and follows the Master.
Jesus continues to James and John, looking to them, and again repeating, “follow me”. They also come with him, in their hearts feeling joy and excitement. “This is it!” There is something so familiar, so true to the heart, that when this Jesus, this ordinary looking man from Nazareth comes, they know. They know. It is the call of God, they don’t know how they know, but they know. And they drop their nets, they drop their security, and follow Jesus.
For me, it was a Saturday night in February, I was gathered with hundreds of other Christians who were praising God. His Spirit came upon me, calling me, “follow me.” A slight pain came in the back of my throat, and then it grew, larger and larger, my eyes were burning, my mouth dropped. I was on my knees, hands on my face, tears streaming down, surrendered. I had fought so hard to be an engineer. And then as Peter, as Andrew, as James and John, I dropped my net, my security, and said, “Ok, I’ll follow you.”
And as we sit here today, I ask you, do you heard him calling? The voice of the Master, calling us. He is saying, “follow me.”

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