Sometimes I try to imagine what it must have been like to be one of the Disciples. I think we forget that these were real men with real families and children (some of them) and mortgages and responsibilities. They were uneducated, yet they did their best to understand the Scriptures and to live a faithful life to God. They told jokes laughed; they listened to the local news and cried; they prayed in faith and trusted God during a time when He seemed to have forgotten Israel. The Disciples were you and I.
Imagine, then, how scary it must have been to be called by Jesus. Imagine being so convinced in your heart that you have seen the Messiah that you are willing to walk away from everything you know: you familiarity; your normalcy; your security. Some of these guys traveled with their families. Imagine! What could make someone do that?
The answer to that question is – the same thing that causes people to follow Jesus today. Across the globe, men and women choose to give up everything to follow Jesus. Their families disown them. Their employers fire them. Their neighbors shun them. Still, they follow. In America, despite a poisonous climate, Christians rarely have to make that level of sacrifice to identity with Jesus, but we must all need the words of Jesus: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:23-24).
Jesus doesn’t just want part of us; He wants ALL of us. He isn’t looking for a casual relationship. We come to Jesus, usually, out of curiosity. We follow Jesus because, like Nathaniel, we are convinced that we have met the Messiah; the Savior. When we come closer, however, we realized He is more powerful than we can even comprehend and more Graceful than we ever thought possible. He is not a way to God. He is THE Way. He does not share life-advice. He is life.