Jesus gave the same invitation to everyone. It was simple, direct, and called for a decision. It could be accepted or denied, but not ignored. The invitation was simply, “Follow me.” More than twenty-four times in the Gospels, Jesus invited people to follow Him. He invited the wealthy and powerful, the casual observer, the spiritual seekers, and even the religiously devoted. Jesus called everyone to follow Him.
One day while walking along the Sea of Galilee, Jesus passed by fishermen caring for their nets. They had known Jesus for a while, but now it was time for them to make a decision.
“And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’”(Matthew 4.19 ESV).
For those men, following Jesus meant leaving behind their old life to go with Jesus. It meant being trained by Jesus, learning to obey Jesus, and coming under the authority and leadership of Jesus. Ultimately, it meant living a life that looked just like Jesus — reflecting His character, priorities, and practices. Jesus offers the same invitation today. He still calls men and women to follow Him.
While following Jesus doesn’t mean physically following Him around, it does mean turning from living your own life and choosing to live a new kind of life with Jesus in charge. Essentially, there are two ways to live. You can live with yourself in charge, going your way, and pursuing your own happiness. Or you can live with Jesus in charge, going His way, and pursuing what makes Him happy. You will discover that the first way to live always leads to a dead-end and separation from God, while the second way always leads to purpose, peace, and assurance.
By Craig Etheredge. Used with permission.