Two things...

Two things jumped out at me this morning. There is a lot packed into this chapter, many things that could be pulled out. For me, there are two things Jesus says that are invitations to you and me.
1. Follow me. This was the call Jesus gave to the disciples. And this is the call that we have before us. Notice that Jesus doesn't say "Get your life cleaned up, straightened out, then come interview as my followers." He doesn't say "Jump through these hoops, say these things and you can be in." He simply says "Follow me." It is as if Jesus is saying to people in that day, people today, and everyone in between, "Just hang out with me for awhile and see what happens. I think you'll be convinced that I am who I say I am and that this is the best possible kind of life." I love that invitation.
2. Repent. This one has all kinds of religious baggage wrapped around it, so it is difficult for us to grasp what Jesus was saying. Jesus wasn't calling everyone to suddenly enter into a confessional booth and confess all their sins. He was inviting people to consider the direction of their life and return to the kind of life God had created at the very beginning of time. Repent...or maybe return would be a good translation. If you can, try to forget all the things that enter your mind when you read the word 'repent.' Then, think about what the Garden of Eden might have been like. Jesus invites us to return to that kind of life.

So glad you are taking this journey with us. My prayer is that we aren't just reading, but that we're chewing on these Scriptures, in an attempt to digest them into our lives. May you and I be changed as the Spirit brings life to these words.

And, may you enjoy discovering these words as life, whether you are reading them for the first time or the 5,000th time.


  1. Changing rocks into rolls? Stones into scones? I think I will just go to Safeway and get a piece of carrot cake for tonight. Oh but what about my weight, my blood sugar? I will find some way to justify it. I will have to be clever though. Can't let Jan catch me.

  2. The testing of Jesus is one of my favorite passages. Do you ever wonder what satan is up to with these temptations? Turning stones into bread? Jump from a high place? Where is the evil in these two requests? These are the very qualities to be expected in a Messiah, right? The temptations may not seem exactly evil, yet something pivotal is happening in this story. What do you think it is?

    The best commentary I have read on this passage is in Philip Yancey's book "The Jesus I Never Knew". If you have it on your shelf check out the chapter "Temptation: Showdown in the Desert".

  3. I thought it was interesting that Jesus talked about making his followers "fishers of men". I thought about how a fisherman works. He does everything within his control to prepare his equipment and choose his waters, but he can't actually put the fish on the hook. A good fisherman is patient and just follows the disciplines of being a good fisherman.. and the results are, well, not guaranteed. I like the word-picture of the fisherman when it comes to being a follower of Christ. It's more about the process. The results (in terms of actually "catching" men... making more followers) are not guaranteed. In other words, you can't catch a fish that won't bite. While that takes a lot of pressure off of us, I think it also motivates us to improve our fishing skills.

  4. teampetty - gr8 stuff! that is so important for us to remember. i heard someone say 'work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on God.' we must do the work of preparation, we must be patient and open to the 'tugs' and 'bites.' and we must trust the One who draws in the fish. thanks for that reminder teampetty!