Here’s a question for you: which famous literary detective said these words when meeting his equally famous companion for the first time? ‘You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive’.
Answers on a postcard (well let’s say text or email), wins you a prize. A Brucie bonus for the title of the book where you can still find these words.
Have you ever tried to remember how you came to meet a loved one or a friend and what your first words were to them? Often this information gets lost in the mists of time, and anyway, does it really matter? If, however, you had met anyone either important or famous – and if they had actually spoken to you – I guess you would have remembered every word. (I still remember eating a bacon sandwich with Actor Kenneth More in 1975: thereby hangs a tale).
When two ordinary fishermen met Jesus Christ for the first time, this was considered to be important enough to be written down and put in the Bible for us to read. In Mark’s gospel Jesus said to Simon and Andrew ‘Come, follow me’. So we are told they lay down their fishing nets, left the family fishing business and became followers (disciples) of Jesus.
Their lives were never to be the same again. Following Jesus did not bring them prosperity or prestige, but rather they were persecuted and many were martyred for their faith.
Unprecedented; unique; once in a lifetime. These words have become the everyday vocabulary of news updates and current affairs. We cannot deny – and should not ignore – that we are living in such times where expectations have been demolished and there’s widespread talk of a “new normal” whatever that may mean. Things are changing but some certainties still remain – we can depend on them when all else around seems to be falling apart.
In 2020 Jesus is still calling people to come and follow Him, and millions of people worldwide have found joy and peace in doing just that. If Jesus were to say to you ‘Come, follow me’, what would your answer be?