Jesus called people to follow him. Today He calls us to follow Him.
Peter was a fisherman, in partnership with his brother Andrew, and Zebedee’s sons, James and John. It was Andrew who first introduced Peter to Jesus. One day, as they were at work, Jesus came along the beach and called them to follow him. They walked away from their fishing business to follow Jesus. (John 1:35-42, Matt 4:18-23, Luke 5:1-11)
Later, when Jesus’ teaching seemed too difficult, many people turned back from following him. Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Peter replied, “Lord, who else could we go to? You have the words of eternal life. We are convinced you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:66-69)
When Jesus was arrested, Peter followed him to the High Priest’s house. In the courtyard, he was recognised as a follower of Jesus, but he denied it, swearing that he had never met him. Then, as the rooster crowed, he realised he had betrayed his Leader, just as Jesus had predicted. (Luke 22:54-62)
After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to the disciples many times over forty days. Early one morning, he met them on a beach. He talked to Peter and reinstated him, commissioning him to “feed my sheep.” He predicted that Peter would die as a martyr. Once again, he called him; “Follow me.” When Peter saw John walking behind them, he said, “What about him?” Jesus said, in effect; “My plan for him is not your business. You must simply keep on following me!” (John 21)
Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?
Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?
Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen,
and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?
Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?
Lord your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In Your company I’ll go where Your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.
By John L. Bell & Graham Maule, Copyright © 1987, WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow, G2 3DH, Scotland. firstname.lastname@example.org; www.wgrg.co.uk Reproduced by permission.