NOT JUST ANOTHER TEACHER
“And as he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed him.” (Mk 1: 16-17)
So, Simon and Andrew simply walk off from their job, leaving their nets, and follow Jesus. And He barely said anything to them – only the puzzling phrase I read above, which probably made little sense to them, “I will make you become fishers of men.” At this point the disciples know little if anything of Christ’s “teaching.” They are following Him, not a teaching.
I note today that of course, Christ brings us a salvific teaching and valuable “lessons” on how to live. But this is not exclusively, not even primarily, what makes us follow Him, leaving our “nets” and other entanglements behind. There were many wise teachers before Christ, with more systematic teachings on how to live. My faith is primarily about a meeting with a living Being, the God-Man Jesus Christ, Who reveals to us the Father and sends the Holy Spirit, in the lived experience of daily life in Him. It is the strength, the power of this Being, that makes His teaching salvifically different from the teaching of others, as it says in this same chapter of the Gospel of Mark: “And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mk 1: 22)
Let me remember not to limit myself to “learning about” Christ, but also to meet Him in heartfelt prayer, letting His grace into my heart and into my entire schedule today.