“Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Mark 1:17
It’s the most concise definition of discipleship. In eleven words, Jesus summed up the essence of the Great Commandment to “Go…and make disciples…”
The call to discipleship is the call to become an apprentice of Jesus – becoming like Jesus by entering into an intentional, deeply help, interactive friendship with him. (John 15; 17:3; Gal. 4:9; Col. 3:1-17) It is an invitation to inner change, for all who believe, through interaction with Jesus himself for the sake of others.
This simple statement even defines our role as disciples: intentionally enter into an apprentice relationship that is characterized by attentive following; and Jesus’ role: the transformation of our inner being by the active presence of the Holy Spirit that the life of Christ might flow through us.
Often we think of this call to discipleship as a one-time event or one-time commitment. We think that entering into the discipleship process happened when we first recognized the call to become a disciple and intentionally stepped into that invitation to apprenticeship. While this is true, what strikes me is the present, daily quality of the invitation.
Daily I am invited to come and to follow…walk with, work with, stay attentive to the movements and activity of the life of Jesus in me that I might keep in step with the transformative on-going work of the Spirit that I might be used for kingdom purposes…in this day. That, after all, is the essence of our call: to be with him so as to become like him.