Unromantic Invitation: Follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men.

“All my love to you, its your kiss that does all the magic to me, forever you changed me, there is no love like you. Forever you’re the king in my heart, forever you reign in me. Forever your love remains. Your love is eternal and changes my world.” I thought those should’ve been the words the fishermen should have heard from Jesus before making any decision whether to follow him or not. Nope! this case was different and counter-culture.  C.S Lewis would say, “we live in a world paraded with promises of eternal romance, yet  delivers less on those promises.” The word in the text was, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” vs 17. Mk 1:17.

As I ponder on those words, “follow me” in the text. I realized John The Baptist had just introduced the man to everyone. Being a follower, in my opinion, doesn’t sound right these days, because we seem more interested in leadership. While I love leadership skills, I recently started thinking about ‘follower-ship’, but as an academia, I can argue that most of the Ivy leagues school are more interested in people with leadership skills. It makes me wonder if ‘follower ship’  is  an issue worth rejecting in people. It obviously doesn’t sound politically correct following this man with those few words. Before I concluded the text, I read the previous verse. Mk.1:14. Now John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the GOSPEL of God.”

I thought it was the GOSPEL that would have propelled them into leaving what they were doing to follow him. I’m sure the gospel was a message of love that was strong enough to make them become like him. His invitation was to make them become like him. At the end, I would expect every follower to become a leader. As Rob Thompson would say, “the outcome of our life is determined by those we grant access.” It was the gospel that would give them the advantage, and the  access to the information that would ultimately create the changes. Malcolm Gladwell in his non-fiction book – the outliers wrote, “We have, I think, a very rigid and limited definition of what an advantage is, we think of things as helpful that actually aren’t and think of other things as helpful, that in reality leave us stronger and wiser.”  Following Jesus was the key in the text, because it would make them stronger and wiser.

Being a follower of Jesus is a huge task, because it demands obedience and trust to a commandment that has an overwhelming positive result. Before Christ called them in the text, I noticed Andrew and Simon where in their place of primary assignment. College professors would usually tell students to stay in their place of study; ensuring they complete their task. “Get the degree “ are often my repeated words, “go back to school and ensure you complete the task. While I may be biased as human sometimes do. I know the call to follow Jesus requires an active, yet insightful initiative on our part. It would require listening. Listening to the call is relevant to a believers purpose.

– Evans Akpo.


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