“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19 NIV)
We are not meant to travel this journey alone. With his words, “Follow Me,” Jesus was forming a community of believers to encourage one another and to carry on his message – together. He did not want his original followers to stumble through life alone. And he doesn’t want us to do that either.
Isolation can be a real problem. When the world shut down and we were forced inside during the pandemic, many of us were home alone – for months. During this time, it became painstakingly clear that we need each other. We need human interaction. We need to get out of the house. We need a hug. Binge watching on Netflix is not a healthy substitute for real relationships, although it can be tempting and become comfortable. And then there’s the Hallmark Channel… Indeed, life can seem easier and drama-free without a lot of people in it.
But Jesus’ call to “Follow Me” is a call to community, to connect with each other to bring his message of light and love to our world with the witness of our lives – to be his hands and feet. This mission cannot be accomplished in isolation. In our sin-stained world we all have blind spots that often cannot be seen on our own. We need Christian brothers and sisters who have permission to speak truth into our lives so that we may grow in our likeness to Jesus.
Who are the people who help you grow in your relationship with Lord? Are you that person for someone else?
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:15 NIV)