Chapter & verse: Matthew 4:12-23
Francis Brienen on the first people called to discipleship
The history of our faith is full of people who have chosen a costly path. From Martin Luther to Mother Teresa, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer to the city banker who becomes an inner city teacher, there are people who have given up much to follow a calling. People who know what they are made for.
This reading about Jesus calling the first disciples invites us to think about what we are made for. In more traditional church language, what Jesus’ calling means for us. Jesus’ call to follow is not just for the heroes of the Christian faith – those we regard as having extraordinary talents or exceptional courage. The call to discipleship, to walk the way of Jesus, is extended to us all.
We only need to look at the people Jesus calls in this story: four ordinary fishermen who live on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew, and James and John, the sons of Zebedee. These are people we can relate to. From later stories, we get a sense that they were in many ways people like us. They could be petty, they quarrelled and they were not particularly brave. But they were also honest and enthusiastic. They were ordinary men who were called out of very ordinary circumstances to follow and become disciples…
This is an extract from the June 2017 edition of Reform