“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” Matthew 4:19
Do you know who, besides you, reads this blog? People that I know have or do read it (because I have received feedback from them) are pastors, housewives, missionaries, kids, athletes and celebrities (some of whom you’d recognize), and teachers. In addition, I’ve gotten reader feedback from former drug dealers, drug users, Only Fans models, sex-trade workers and former sex-trade workers, politicians, adulterers, ex-convicts, alcoholics, atheists, and a few devout Christians who look down on others.
I’m speculating here, but I think that Jesus would say to each of these people “come, follow me.” He would send us out to fish for people. All people. As my friend Patrick would say, “got skin, got sin.” Jesus wants us to use our lives to reach everyone who has skin. EVERYONE.
I go to church; I encourage you to. It’s in a formal church that you can best learn about Jesus, that you can be in community with others who follow Him. If you don’t, you’re just cutting yourself off from life-support. And I understand that some folks have gotten hurt by the churches. Reminder: it wasn’t Jesus who hurt them (or you). It was people in the Jesus’ church, and people with skin have sin. And some are jerks and hypocrites. Find a new, believing church anyway because you need Jesus and, like I said, it’s the best place to get familiar with Him.
But let’s don’t just be in the church. Let’s BE THE CHURCH. Reach out and befriend people of all kinds, from all places, of all backgrounds, who do and don’t look like us. Go find some rough and tumble fishermen, or hookers, or pastors, or neighbors, and just get to know them. Be yourself and be kind. Be another decent human being who loves Jesus and loves people. Other people struggle with sin, too. Like you and me.
Maybe He will put the moment in your path to actually talk about Him. It might take years; it might take minutes. No agendas, just kindness. And friendship. And being the church. And maybe getting the chance to say to your new friend, “I follow Jesus. Let’s talk more. Let me help.”
Jesus met Peter and Andrew at the lake, where they were working, where they had sweated and toiled for years. He didn’t say, “you sinful, dirty tradesmen.” He simply said, “follow me.” He invited them into His personal space so they could learn from Him. He took them on as divinity students without filling out forms, submitting a resume, or a background check. He invites us the same way. To follow Him. We, the church, get to follow Him and learn from Him and let Him work through us to reach others. Anne Wilson said it best: “Let my Jesus change your life.” That starts with following Him.
For more reading: Matthew 4:20
Lord Jesus, I follow only You.