“Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.’ And immediately they left their nets and followed him.” (Mark 1:17-18)
Following Jesus is never all all-rosy ride. It demands letting go, leaving things behind, putting up with a lot of sacrifices and bearing a painful cross. This is what we learn from the behaviour of the disciples in today’s Gospel passage. The moment Jesus called them, without wasting any time, they left their nets; their means of livelihood and followed Jesus.
Why was it necessary for them to leave everything behind for Jesus’ sake? The answer to this question is simple: “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13).
Following Jesus at all demands a certain level of letting go and breaking off from the world. As Jesus would say: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25).
The rich young man walked away from Jesus in sadness because he could not afford to let go of his wealth in other to be a follower of Jesus. However, when we look at our world today, we notice that instead of disciples leaving everything to follow Jesus, they now leave Jesus behind to follow the world (in the name of prosperity Gospel).
May God help us return to Jesus who is the truth, the way and the life. May God deliver us from the error of reducing and limiting the blessings of God to mere material prosperity. May God so touch the many fake ministers who are merely using his name as a cover for self-enrichment and cheap popularity. May Christians everywhere realize the truth that worship of God demands living as pilgrims here on earth.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, the apostles left everything to follow you, free me from the worship of material riches. Amen.
Bible Study: Hebrews 1:1-6, Psalm 97, and Mark 1:14-20).