Christian discipleship is a fruit of the proclamation of the Kingdom of God. It is the response to the call to “Repent, for the Kingdom-Reign of God is near.” The Greek for “repent” is based on metanoia metanoia which means “a change of heart and mind.” God’s reign will be characterized by an overthrow of the world’s existing system of values. For in God’s kingdom, those who are poor, meek, pure of heart, peace-makers, the sorrowing (cf. Matthew 5) will be given first place. The anawim — those who have learned to put their lives in the hands of God — will be the citizens of that kingdom.
The first disciples of the Lord respond to His call with immediacy: “They abandoned … and walked behind him.” The fishermen abandoned nets and boats and father to learn from a new teacher a new lifestyle. Mark writes that this lifestyle would be of “fishers of men”. They will be the ones who will bring in the harvest of men in the last days, a catch from the waters! (Would these waters perhaps be like the waters from which Noah emerged? Are they to be “fishers” of men because they will be drawing men and women for salvation from the waters of baptism?)
The first disciples walked behind the Lord. At the end of the Gospel of Matthew, they will be following Him still from Jerusalem to Galilee and to the ends of the world. In Matthew 28, the Lord commissions the apostles: “Go make disciples… and I will be with you.” He sends them out to make the catch, but as before, He will be in the boat, present though unseen. “…(A)nd they walked behind Him.” The Lord precedes wherever the disciples go as the Lord at whose name every knee must bend, as St. Paul writes. He precedes the journey of discipleship through the meanderings of human history to the City where all are called to dwell. To walk behind someone is to choose one’s Master and Lord. But this is just the first step of Discipleship. “Learn from me, from I am gentle and humble of heart!” Ah, there is the catch. The journey isn’t all; one must learn.
Originally posted 2005-01-23 04:54:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
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