Friday, May 28, 2010

Following for the Present

“Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

Matthew 9:9b

Peter left his livelihood as a fisherman. James and John turned their backs on the family business. Matthew left a secure appointment by the government. Jesus knew what he was asking and yet throughout his ministry he continued to repeat the same two words, Follow Me. Some who heard were able to meet the challenge and take the risk. Others felt the constraint of family and business obligations. Both decisions changed their lives one way or another.

The disciples represent the broad spectrum of individuals that Jesus called. They all came from different backgrounds with the only common factor being that in following Jesus they were turning away from the known to face the unknown. Jesus gave no expectations at the point of his calling. There were no promises of life after death. No assurances that they would return to their lives. He simply said, Follow Me, and at least twelve couldn’t resist!

It strikes me that sometimes I spend more time thinking and talking about Christianity in the context of the afterlife. I was taught to “witness” because we want people to be assured of heaven after they die. There wasn't an emphasis on how much it could change their lives, now.

Follow Me radically changed the lives of the disciples. They saw, heard, and experienced this life as never before. Jesus taught them how to live the kingdom life that was being given to them--now.

Jesus wants us to live in the kingdom now. Follow me!

Jesus, sometimes I look only towards the future,
forgetting that you have given me a life to live right now.
Teach me how you want me to live in the kingdom, today.

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