David Breen – General Manager of Training, Discovery Community Care
Matt 4: 18-5:10
Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Have you ever followed someone in a hiking expedition – up a mountain? Climbing cliffs and rugged rocks with ropes tied to your waist and 100’s or metres falling away beneath you is a breath taking adventure. It takes focus, trust and resolve … but it’s great for getting to know people.
I climbed a few moutains as a youth and found it exhilarating and challenging. Jesus climbed up a mountain with disciples, but not just for the fun of it but to build a team who were connected to him with more than a rope and a clip. He invited individuals to leave what they were doing and to follow him. He said, “Come, follow me …” then took his disciples to a place up the mountain where he could teach them about being with him to learn from him.
We are looking at being in the presence of Jesus over the next few weeks and it’s important we start with the call of God on our lives – it will make it a whole lot easier to hear from God and to be in the presence of Jesus. Maybe you find it hard to be alone with God and to hear from him, but if you grasp the call of Jesus on your life it will make a world of difference.
This reading in Matthew gives us a basis for being with Jesus and hearing from him. He called people, personally, to be with him every day. He made direct connection and expected a response to his invitation to “Come”. These first disciples left everything (even their father and his business, which in those days was huge – still is, if you are expected to take over the family business) and followed Jesus. Would you leave your father (family) and your source of income to be with Jesus, if he asked you to do so? That is, what is your source of security in this life; is it your family and career or business? To what level have you “left the boat and your father and followed him”?
Notice too that it was not the large crowds who followed Jesus for his signs and wonders and healings, who were invited to climb the mountain with Jesus. It was the disciples (the learners), who were his close group who scaled the mountain and sat down with him (Matt 5: 1) to learn from him. One of the reasons we spend time alone with Jesus, in his presence, is to learn from him and to hear him teach us how to live. We can’t do this if we are following him just for the purpose of being blessed by his miraculous power. We have to move from crowd to disciple; from observer to mountaineer. We need to weigh up to risk and move into his close circle to hear his instructions and teachings so we know how he wants us to live. He won’t turn us away if we are in the crowd (he is kind and compassionate) but he wants each of us to move close to the point where we follow even if the rocky cliffs seem dangerous, for that’s where we can sit down with him and hear his words of life.
- What stops you from responding to Jesus call to be with him? Is it family, money, fear …?
- What will it take to leave everything (include your inner and outer world) and follow Jesus?
- Are you in the crowd or in the mountain climbing group that wants to sit with Jesus and hear him teach? How hungry are you to move closer Jesus so you can hear his voice more clearly?
- What can you do next to move from follower to disciple?
Further Reading: Matt 4: 18 – 5: 12