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In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus calls Simon, Andrew, James, and John to follow Him. When I was younger, this passage didn’t make much sense to me. Even though He was Jesus, I thought it was strange that these men left their livelihoods behind to follow a stranger, but when I learned about discipleship in college, I understood.
In Jesus’ time, a young boy who did well in school would follow a Pharisee as his disciple. They would accompany them everywhere they went and do everything they do in hopes of becoming just like their Rabbi. But first, they had to be invited. If a Pharisee didn’t ask a boy to follow him, then he would take up his father’s trade, as was the case with Simon, Andrew, James, and John. The first disciples followed Jesus because He extended a Rabbi’s invitation. They might not have known that He was the Christ, but they knew that He saw something in them and wanted to call them to something more.
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Jesus knows that we’re made for more too. We’re His disciples too, and He still calls us today to follow Him and know Him deeper. What is He calling you to leave behind for His sake? How is He inviting you to follow Him more closely? How can your life reflect His? Jesus still pursues us, gently saying “come after Me.” Let’s answer His call without hesitation like the first disciples.
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