(Taken from the Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus series.)
“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make your fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed him.”
The next step, after repentance, towards spiritual awakening is the determination to come and follow Jesus. Christ’s desire is for each of us to move beyond a “watch and see” type of relationship with him to a “come and follow” relationship.
Watch and see is best described as simply being a spectator. These individuals are the Sunday morning followers who fill church pews once a week; watching and listening to everything that’s happening, but demonstrate little evidence of their faith throughout the rest of the week.
Jesus is calling us to a greater walk with him. His desire is that we follow. Those individuals, who chose this deeper walk with him became known as disciples; indicating a desire to learn, imitate, and apply the teachings of Christ to their lives every day.
In choosing the twelve men, whom would become his closest companions during his earthly ministry; Jesus demonstrated his desire to reach every social stratum. He chose fisherman, tax collectors, and social activists. On the surface it does not appear that these men have anything in common.
However, what they had in common is another key ingredient in our spiritual awakening. On one occasion Jesus had an encounter with a rich young ruler. By all appearances this young man had it all together, but beneath the surface he had an unhealthy love for money that caused him to walk away from Christ. After seeing this young man with so much to offer walk away, Peter turned to Jesus and said:
“We have left everything to follow you! What will there be for us?”
What did they all have in common? They were willing to leave everything associated with their old way of living to follow him.
Jesus told Peter:
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”
Walking in the footsteps of Jesus means that we must leave everything connected to our old sinful life behind, in order to enjoy the abundant life Jesus has in store for us.
Pastor Scott Burr