Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

Have you ever had an ‘immediate moment’?  In Matthew’s Gospel it is recorded that Jesus called his Disciples saying “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”  Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” (4:19-20 NRSV).  Mark’s Gospel says the same thing… “And immediately they left their nets and followed him.” (1:18). Luke’s Gospel says it a bit differently but it is implied… “When they brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.” (5:11). The ‘hidden meaning’ Gospel of John says it a bit differently as well after John the Baptizer proclaims “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”  The two disciples heard him say this and they followed Jesus. (1:36b-37). Again there is a sense of immediate response.  In all four Gospels there is a stated or implied immediate response by average people to the call of Jesus to follow him.

We can’t quite say what is behind their ‘immediate moment’.  Maybe they had been yearning for a deeper meaning in their lives for years.  Perhaps they had heard rumor of this Jesus and were hoping he’d choose them.  Could it have been the culture of the day where less possessions and attachments allowed a person greater probability and possibility to respond so suddenly to opportunities that appeared in their lives?  They may have had trouble and frustration in their lives and this opportunity was simply a ‘why not try it…it can’t be worse than I am presently experiencing’.  Or maybe it was just as it says Immediately they followed him” because the Spirit of God was drawing their lives near the life of Christ…and they were open to such a possibility.

We really don’t know why there was such immediate response to Jesus’ call to their ordinary lives but it is clear that all four Gospel writers understood there was an ‘immediate moment’ in their lives.

Shouldn’t there be some ‘immediate moments’ in our lives as well?   Oh, it may take years and countless moments that lead up to such ‘immediate moments’.  But at some point isn’t it critical to decide who we will follow and of whom we will open our hearts, minds, and lives?  When we make such a decision…it is our ‘immediate moment’.  Our lives will change in that moment for ever.

Whether we have a ‘Damascus Road’-knocked off our horse and blinded by a bright light with a voice coming from heaven experience; or we have an ‘Emmaus Road’-walking along unaware to the presence of Christ until suddenly we realize it has been Christ all along the way experience, we must have an ‘immediate moment’It is not how we get to an ‘immediate moment’ but that we get to an ‘immediate moment’ that seems critical.

Perhaps what is missing in our world today it the lack of ‘immediate moments’.  Have you had an ‘immediate moment’ recently?

 Always Thinking…


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