Following Jesus Is a Family Affair

Day 4 

Gen 8:1-10:32, Matt 4:12-25, Ps 4:1-8, Prov 1:20-23

Following Jesus Is a Family Affair

The reading from Matthew tells of Jesus’ call of the fishermen, Simon Peter and Andrew, and their calling of their colleagues, James and John. On the surface of it, it is a testimony to the inherent power of Jesus’ words and their obedience. But, if we are honest about it, there is a darker side to this call.

Matthew tells us that James and John left their father, Zebedee, mending the nets. No doubt, Zebedee depended heavily on his two sons and without them his workload increased, and his ability to feed the rest of his family was diminished. Matthew doesn’t give us specifics here, but, surely James and John’s departure affected their families as well.

In large ways and small, the call of Christian discipleship is not a private affair, but impacts those around us. Some of us are called to ministries that draw time and attention away from our families. Some of us are called to make choices that hinder career and earning potential. Some of us are even called to mission fields where our families are denied the normal comforts and opportunities of life in America.

Our devotion to Christ is never just “me and my Jesus.” In fact, one of the central models we see in Jesus’ ministry is that He creates a community of followers. Let us make communities of Jesus followers in our families and in our churches who work, talk and pray together, sharing the burdens and joys of following Jesus!

The Rev. Eric Turner
St. John’s, Melbourne

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