Discipleship Minute #15

Read Matthew 4:18-22.

How many people do you “follow” on Facebook or Twitter? Take a good look at your Friends List. Are they really friends or people you don’t really know? These days it might be better said that to “follow” someone is really to “observe” them.

When Jesus was looking for people that would follow Him, He focused on several individuals. If we attempt to harmonize the Gospel accounts, then we see that Andrew, Peter, John, Philip, and Nathanael had met and observed Jesus before He called them. What had they seen about Jesus? Those men saw that Jesus could do miracles, teach with unparalleled authority, and interact positively and negatively with the Jewish leadership. At this point, Jesus called those men to become more than casual observers. Jesus wanted them to follow Him. The text tells us that they left their nets and fishing business “immediately.”

Jesus was drawing a line in the sand and asking those men to follow Him without reservation. From this point on, Jesus spent more time teaching and mentoring the group of disciples than teaching large crowds. If they were going to reach the world, then they had to be equipped! This was Jesus’s strategy of discipleship. It is the same way with us. We need to be more than casual “followers” or observers of Jesus. We should pray that Jesus would make us into disciples who make other disciples.

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