“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you ……”
God’s intention was never that people should stay as they were, in the bondage of their fallen state. In Jesus He came to save them, and to lead them into a new identity, new relationship, and new way of life and living. He did not aim to achieve this by issuing them with a new set of laws. The freedom from sin and separation, and the gift of a new life, was achieved for us by Jesus. The new life itself, and the will and empowerment to live it, is through the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is significant that in each of the four gospels John the Baptist is recorded teaching that a key purpose of Jesus ministry was to baptise His followers in the Holy Spirit.
The encounter that the first disciples had with Jesus, when He called them to Him, hints at what was to follow. He called them to ‘Come’ to Him and to ‘Follow’ Him. He then promised that on the journey He would transform them, that He would ‘make you’ into someone and something different. In the case of Peter and Andrew the change would result in their becoming ‘fishers of men’. For others the outward focus would be different. However, in each one of them He would work His change.
This change was not a miraculous transformation from imperfect to perfect. It was instead a journey of discovery – one in which they would learn and experience more about the Saviour and more about themselves. In Peter’s case particularly that would include both excitement and humiliation, joy and tears. Many followers down the centuries have had similar experiences.
A part of Jesus work in our lives is to introduce us to truth and reality. He is the Truth and He is real so we cannot expect anything else. He will lead us to know and acknowledge the truth about Himself –a glorious and unimaginable truth as we meet and
“grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,” (Ephesians 3:18)
Jesus will also begin to introduce us to the truth about ourselves, and we will discover and acknowledge things that we have attempted to ignore, that we did not want to admit, and that we did not know existed, as well as the tender and fragile beauty that longs for the light and the warm blessing of the sun. He will gently get us to peel away the masks behind which we hide until we allow ourselves to reveal our reality to Him. He does this not to shame us but to heal us and to lead us to understand that the person He loves and for whom He died is the real ‘me’ with all my faults and imperfections, and not the other.
God will be always at work in our lives, to the extent that we will allow it. His aim is to make us into the person that we could really be, and to be significant in ways that have an eternal impact.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
God made us in the beginning. His vision for us has not been changed into something less.
Talk to God about the real you, and ask for His blessings.
Lord Jesus, You have called me and continue to call me to You. Help me please to stay very close to You and to trust You with every area of my life – even my sin. Amen.