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‘COME, FOLLOW ME’ – JESUS CALLS. (MATTHEW 4:19)

There are many eloquent and persuasive voices in society, the Church, and social media seeking to capture our attention. This year 2024 is an election year in Ghana and politicians will be calling on the Ghanaian electorate to elect them as their leaders. Social Media is filled with invitations to follow individuals who claim to have what we are looking for. This has become a powerful method of enticing people to follow. The content of social media feeds mainly consists of posts, articles and images from individuals whom the user has chosen to follow. People may have different reasons for following someone or something. However, research and experience have demonstrated that not all paths we choose to follow lead to the expected outcome.

The Call to follow is a call to grant leadership to the caller. In Matthew 4:19, Jesus said, “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of people”. This call from Jesus is not just for Peter and Andrew but for all of us. It consists of four fundamental elements.

Come: Christ offers this call to all people to recognize his voice and come to him. Matthew 11:28. It is an invitation to move into his space despite our shortcomings. His call–‘come’ is the beginning of discipleship and our response in repentance as we acknowledge our sin, turn from it, and also realize for the first time that we are the ones Jesus has invited to be part of the Kingdom.

Follow me: Although we may choose to follow various artists on Spotify and social media influencers on YouTube, we must remember that Jesus is the original one whom people followed. This part is the command and commands require some form of obedience. Following Him means entering into a relationship with Him. This relationship is characterized by self-denial, personal intimacy, unwavering ambition, and ultimately, the joy of the gospel. This suggests that prior to following him, we had been pursuing other things, possibly ourselves.

This relational change comes with a cost (Luke 14:26). In the early days of the church, acknowledging that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God resulted in social isolation. This meant severing ties with friends and social circles. Jewish individuals were expelled from the synagogue, while Gentiles ceased offering sacrifices to Caesar or other deities. The start of discipleship involves surrendering to Jesus and cultivating a bond with God’s people, who become your new family.

And I will make you: If someone chooses to follow Jesus, they cannot stay the same.

Matthew stopped engaging in fraudulent activities as a tax collector, while James and John decided to put an end to their competition for the highest position in the kingdom. Similarly, Paul decided to stop persecuting the church.

God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit invites us into a relationship with Him, and we are changed, conformed, into the image of Christ. This continuous process of becoming more like Jesus Christ throughout one’s life, with the purpose of benefiting the world, is known as spiritual formation (discipleship). God changes us from the inside out, creating clean hearts where ours were unclean, enabling us to love God with all our hearts. It is also about your relationship with the Triune God (1 John 4:15-16).

Fishers of people: Fishing is a metaphor, obviously, for seeking men and women who will also follow Jesus. Once our relationship with God has been restored, we are called into his service: “[God] reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.… We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:18, 20). Our discipleship is not for us. We are discipled to disciple others.

The church is a unique institution that serves those who are not yet a part of it. As we follow Jesus, we are called to share his teachings through our actions and words, and actively participate in the discipleship of others (Mathew 28:19-20). Thus, discipleship, in these aspects, involves a relationship with God, a relationship with God’s people, and a relationship with outsiders.

These four steps — Coming to Jesus, following Jesus, being transformed by Jesus, and discipling others — constitute the essence of being a disciple. The reason why the verse is highly significant.

As a Christian social media user, God is calling you to express your love for Christ by strongly liking, following, subscribing, and sharing His life in you with others, leading to a purposeful existence.

This year let’s commit to following Jesus Christ through daily Bible reading. He is the most trustworthy leader of all time, so it’s important to choose Him as our guide and follow those who also follow Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1). Happy New Year!!


By:
Rev. Derek E. Koomson

General Director/CEO
Scripture Union Ghana

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