“Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men!” This Bible verse has stuck out in my heart and mind for years. It has been a constant reminder for me that God has called me to come and follow Him. As a missionary kid that meant following Jesus to the Nations with my mum and dad – as I have grown up that has been something I have enjoyed doing with my wife.
But four chapters later an interesting story unfolds. In a scene that would be perfect in a movie, Jesus rocks up to a cemetery where he releases a man from demonic possession. The demons cast out from the man, enter into a herd of pigs who proceeded to jump off a cliff and drown! This man who has been radically touched by Jesus now responds by asking Jesus if he can follow him.
At first this would seem like a great response considering Jesus has been calling people to come and follow Him. But look at Jesus’ response, “Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you.” (Mark 5:19)
For a long time I thought that if you were to follow Jesus you had to go to some dark unreached part of the world. But for a lot of people Jesus simply tells us to go home.
I am reminded of the story of Pentecost where everyone started speaking in different languages. The crowd from all over the world heard the gospel in their own language and 3,000 people were saved that day. We may not all receive a foreign language download from heaven, but I believe God wants to place the language of love into our hearts so we can communicate the gospel to the people He has given us.
So who are your people? Who has God told you to go to? Who has God placed a burning love in your heart for? So often we get caught up in what we are supposed to do, when really Jesus is more interested in who He has called you to. Today, take a moment and ask God – Who are you calling me to love today?