Lenten Focus: Following Jesus (1)
You ask me to follow you? To be a fisher of men? Aren't you just a carpenter? And the son of a carpenter? What do you know about fishing? Who do you think you are? And why should I follow you?
What? Yes, I must admit that I have heard rumours of your so-called miracles; the blind can see and the deaf can hear. Me? I'm seeing and hearing just fine. I have a thriving business here and have branches in Tarsus and Derby. That's in Greece, you know. I have a beautiful wife and many children. Yes, children are a gift from God and my quiver is full. Too full, I sometimes feel. I am a respected leader in the community. In the evening I sit at the gate with the other leaders of this community and share my wisdom with them. In the synagogue I have a honoured place by the eastern wall. I serve my God well. I am not fanatical as the Pharisees in following rules. Well okay, sometimes I bend them a bit. Then I am not so crazy as the Essenes with their monastic ideals. I am seeing and hearing just fine.
Erh? You want me to follow you and leave all these behind? Do you know how much work I have put in to become who I am today? You do? Stop looking at me with those piercing eyes! Sometimes I feel that you are looking directly into my soul. I am a good man I am. Well maybe there are a few dark secrets I keep. Okay, okay, more than a few. But then who hasn't? Well maybe I play too easy with the rules in my business. You know what they say, as long as you don't get caught... Will you stop looking at me that way? Yes, I am sometimes a hypocrite in my dealings others and sometimes I pretend to know when I don't. But I do have to keep their respect, don't I?
Again with the following. You don't exactly live in five-stars hotels in your wandering. I like my comfort. I deserved it after working so hard, don't I? What, you want me to shake your hand? Oh, to see your hands. Man, your hand is so hard and rough. So many scars and calluses. Must be hard being a carpenter, eh? No power tools. Okay, okay, you work hard too. Who is going to look after my wife and kids when I am following you? Who is going to take care of my business when we are gone? Your Abba in heaven. You mean the One whose name we must not say. Your Abba? Woh, let me get out of the way. Lightning strike time.
Follow you, Jesus of Nazareth? Give me one good reason why I should. What do you mean I have to give you reasons why I should not?
Meditation: Too many excuses, too little following.