“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” – Jesus (Matt. 4:19)
In his book, Following Christ: Life the Way It Was Meant To Be, Joseph Stowell talks about the importance of following Jesus. The book flows out of Christ’s first call to His followers: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt. 4:19) A very simple but powerful call to those who would claim to be Christians.
During our lifetimes, we listen to a lot of voices that are trying to direct, counsel, and control our lives. From the time we were kids we have heard voices telling us to do this and do that, to go here and not go there, this is important and that is not. Growing up does not solve the problem – it only makes it worse. During adolescence, the voices of our peers often conflict with the parental voices heard at home. Then there are the religious voices, professors’ voices, trendy voices, biased voices from the media and entertainment, and even voices within us that leave us dizzy with the diversity of contradictory input and advice.
Life is a search for a single voice we can trust – a voice that puts all other voices into quiet perspective, a voice that settles the loudness around us and speaks peacefully, yet clearly and confidently. Jesus Christ is that single voice. He affirmed, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27) He is the Great Shepherd, and as believers, we are the sheep of His pasture, listening to His voice.
Those who have set their hearts to hear His voice and follow Him have been liberated from the din and frustration of seductive voices that threaten to lead them astray. Unfortunately, to look at many of us who call ourselves by His name, it is really hard to tell that we hear His voice above the crowd, and follow it. Our lives are more often than not dictated by our “want-to” voices within, and by the most pressing and influential voices around us.
His voice beckons us like no other, “follow me.”