Following the call to
The word of the LORD came to Jonah, saying: “Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.” So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD’S bidding.
The call to discipleship is not a one-time event. If it were, most of us would likely miss it the first few times. Thankfully our God is constant in His call and He understands our stubbornness, the fact that we need to be reminded and called over and over.
Jonah is one example of God’s persistence. Jonah was a prophet of Israel, and for the most part he got to deliver happy messages. Then God’s call came: “Arise, go to Nin’eveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.”
This was a tough call. Jonah wouldn’t be delivering a happy message to his people, but would have to go to a foreign city, among non-believers, to deliver a very hard message. As we know: Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD.
Jonah literally went in the opposite direction.
Last week we heard John telling His disciples, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” So, The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Today those same disciples are back to fishing. What happened in between? Perhaps they were scared by John’s arrest. Their prior discipleship ended in their leader going to a horrible prison. We could speculate as to the reasons that they went back to fishing, to being non-disciples. But, here comes Jesus, calling again saying: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Jesus didn’t give up on them. He called again and they abandoned their nets and followed him.
There will be times in our life where faithfulness, where our discipleship wanes. There are times when we will go back to our old nets, our former ways. When we do Jesus will come again and say once again: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
It is up to us to hear and follow. Will we again leave our nets, our old ways and follow Him? Will we announce His message (even if its uncomfortable and against what the world tells us is ‘right’)?
When we are called, let us leave fear behind and get busy as true disciples. Jesus calls us for a reason. Like Jonah, we can make a real difference by helping people to repent and believe. Like Jesus’ first disciples, we can make His name known everywhere we go.