They were fishing all day, minding their own business. They worked hard. Prayed hard. Hoped with great fervency.
They were men of faith and integrity, though not perfect. One had the tendency to speak too quickly. One doubted often. And another would betray Jesus.
But these men were called by the Rabbi.
He was different from the other rabbis. His methods unorthodox. Rather than waiting for the disciples to choose Him, as was the rabbinical custom of the day, He first chose them. When a man would ask a rabbi if he could follow him, the rabbi could reject him, but this is not how Jesus worked. With an outstretched hand, He extended an invitation to these smelly fishermen, and they had the opportunity to reject Him or accept the invitation.
Jesus called His own to Himself. He called the broken, disappointed, the ones not picked to be on other teams. He chose the most unlikely.
This gives me so much hope.
There was a day when I rejected Jesus. I tried to follow popular religions of the world, but they left me empty. So after a year of empty, I turned back to the One with the extended hand, and I grabbed it again.
The wonderful thing about Jesus is that He calls us to His team, an invitation that brings the blessing of grace, mercy, peace, and love.
Jude writes in his letter, ‘To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.” (Jude 1,2).
This is what we’ve been called to, invited to: mercy, peace, and love. And not just a little of these wonderful things, but an abundance of them in our lives. It’s a party of these good things!
The love is not our ordinary, human love but Agapao love. It is love that means to be esteemed, cherished, favored, honored, accepted, prized, relished, and devoted to.
I have always been amazed that our God would come to us as a human and crawl up on a humiliating cross to die for us, but the other day I realized it was even more excruciating for God to watch His Son die rather than die himself. As a parent, I know how we would gladly take the place of our children to relieve any suffering they endure. It’s easier to suffer than to watch one you love do so.
So it was with this unfathomable Agapao love that God sent His Son to die because He cherishes His creation. He favors us, honors us, accepts us, and is devoted to us. It is with this very same heart beat that His Son extends the invitation for us to trust Him and follow.
Oh for a better understanding of this amazing love, amazing grace, amazing mercy.
May we rest in this today before we do anything else. Before we run to work or begin to comment on Facebook, or complain about our worries and fears. The bottom line is our God is good. We are called, and it’s our choice to receive all the mercy and grace and Agapao he has for us in abundance no matter what our heart feels today.
It’s ours to accept or reject everyday.
You my friend have been invited. Take His hand.