Follow Me by Christopher Harbin

Follow Me
Christopher B. Harbin
Psalm 27:1,5-6; Isaiah 9:1-4; Matt. 4:12-23; 1 Cor. 1:10-18

My parents would get together with other missionaries to play dominoes on occasion. Normally it was a game called "42". Similar to card games like spades or Rook, the tiles were passed out, bids were made as to how many points one could make, and the highest bidder called "trumps," whether a number or doubles. On occasion, the winner of the bid would say, "Follow Me". On such a round, there would be no trump suit. The highest numbered tile would win each hand in the round. It was always a bit of mystery, as that was not the way most hands were played. We often like things on a little more comfortable keel. When Jesus called the disciples, he used the same open-ended words, "Follow me." Are we up to accepting the risk of such an open-ended invitation to discipleship?

Last week's reading gave no indication that following Jesus cost Andrew anything. John failed to mention that Andrew actually had a job. He just spoke of Andrew as one of the Baptist's disciples--to our eyes as though that were somehow gainful employment. At least upon John's imprisonment, his disciples had to go back to earning a living in some other way.

When Jesus came by, Andrew was busy with the nets. Fishing was no leisure activity for a day off. It was a rough task established to put food on the table and out to market. No fly rods and artificial bait, diesel engines, or motors to haul in nets of catch. Fishing could turn a profit, but it was hard, physical labor.

There was no mending to do on the nets at the moment. The boat had been checked and prepared for its next trip out. It was not time to set out with the boats into the Sea of Galilee, but there was time to throw out the circular nets to add something to the day's catch. Busy at work, Andrew cast and hauled on the net, working to bring in something more for food, sale, and meeting the needs of family and coworkers.

Casting once or twice was no great task. It took skill, but it was the repetition that was so taxing. Andrew was seasoned to the ...


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