Following

The following stories about following are stories I wrote based on the Biblical accounts that we have of some of the disciples of Jesus.  I recommend you read the Bible verses suggested prior to reading the monologue.  God bless!

Andrew’s Story – Mark 1:16-20

Of course we followed Jesus. Me and our Pete may only be simple fishermen from Bethsaida, but we knew enough to know this man was the real thing. You see, we already had an inkling God was about to do something different. We listened a lot to John the Baptist. He talked about needing to repent, to stop doing things God don’t like and to start doing the things that He does. But he didn’t just talk. John would spend all day baptising people. Helping them get right with God again. And people came from everywhere, even Jerusalem just for John to baptise them. And John had said, this Jesus, his cousin, was different from the other Rabbis. This guy was the one. I had to tell our Pete. “We’ve found the Messiah!”

So when Jesus found us that day fishing, and he asked us to follow him, we had to. He was the one.

It didn’t take us long to realise that John may have been on to something about this Jesus. He healed people before our eyes, got rid of demons like they was only pesky flies.

It started the day after we started to follow him. Jesus had caste out a demon, in a synagogue of all places and on the Sabbath! This made him the talk of all Galilee! Well our Pete and I took him to stay at ours, partly because Pete’s mum in law were poorly. Jesus healed her straight away. By sunset, people from all over were bringing their loved ones that needed healing from one thing or another.

The next morning though we had a bit of a panic. We woke up to find that Jesus had gone. We went looking for him, and when we found him where he had been praying, that’s when he told us. “We gotta keep moving, lads,” Jesus said “Keep going from town to town. People need to hear our message, that’s why I am here.”

So we did. We followed him everywhere he went.

Levi/Matthew’s Story – Mark 2:13-17

Why did I follow Jesus? Why did I leave my job, leave everything I had worked so hard for, and follow him?

Sure I had money. As such as it was. Most of that money wasn’t mine though.

Sure I had influence. I guess. I mean, I couldn’t tell the authorities what to do, but at least I got to talk to them, I guess. I told them how much tax I had collected.

The job had pressures though. You had to perform. Don’t collect enough and you’re out. Didn’t matter how much people could afford. All that mattered was the boss’s ‘bottom line’, their charts and spreadsheets. It all had to add up. They had expenses. They had villas and posh banquets to pay for. Friends to impress. Places to conquer. Me, I was just a means to their ends.

The one who squeezed every last available penny from people. Good people.

People I couldn’t look in the eye.

Jesus, though, he offered me an opportunity to change all of that. He gave me an out.

I threw him a banquet. Unlike my bosses with their posh do’s, this Jesus deserved a posh banquet. He genuinely cared about people. Saw something good in them, not just usefulness. But something precious, just for being alive.

Jesus looked at me and treated me like a man and invited me to stand on my feet. Treated me like a brother and made it possible for me to look people in the eye again.

Of course I got up and left my job to follow him.

And I don’t regret throwing him a party. He called me into friendship with God. How could I not celebrate that?

Nathanael’s Story – John 1:43- 51

I didn’t follow Jesus at first. I followed Philip. I knew Philip, as we lived in the same town Bethsaida, the “house of fishing”. We had quite the fishing industry, you see. Any road when Philip told me to follow him and come see this Jesus fellow, I was curious. I’d been sat under a fig tree, resting. I was sure Philip was having a laugh! I’m always ready for a laugh me.

‘Can anything good come from Nazareth?’ Oh, I tell you, those words came back to haunt me. Jesus weren’t just good, he were brilliant. Godly in fact!

And I’m not just saying that because he compared me to the patriarch Jacob, aka Israel. Jacob was a bit of a cheat, but Jesus called me a ‘man of integrity’! Imagine that! And like Jacob, I was going to see a heavenly ladder, God doing His awesome stuff on earth. Only the ladder won’t be in Bethel, like Jacob’s ladder. This ladder was going to be set up in Jesus. And I knew then Jesus was going to do stuff more amazing than play ‘guess where you’ve been sitting’. And I guess I didn’t want to miss that, so I just kept following him.

And the things God did… well you’ve heard the stories…but when he came back…you know from dying like…that was a great day…

I’ll never forget the morning he showed up when we were fishing. Just me, Peter, Thomas, the sons of thunder and a couple of others – out in the boat on the sea of Galilee all night. We hadn’t caught a thing. As the sun started to think about rising, we saw this person standing on the shore. He had asked us if we had caught any fish. When we had said no, he tells us to cast our nets on the other side. To this day I don’t know why we did it. I mean the fish don’t notice what side of the boat the nets are on! But we tried the other side, and it worked! And the net was so full of fish we couldn’t haul the nets in!

That’s when we knew it was Jesus. Cause that’s what he does, you know, when you follow him. He shows up in familiar places and does something different that changes things for the better.

Mary Magdalene’s Story – Mark 15:37-41

We watched him die.

We watched the son of God, the Messiah die.

Even now, I struggle to comprehend.

We women had followed him throughout his ministry, heard him teach, saw the miracles.

Then after the quickest trial in history he was sentenced to crucifixion. Then he died.

As the Roman soldier cried “Truly this man was God’s son” our hearts ached for Mary. This was her son too. He was our friend.

We followed Joseph of Arimathea as he cared for Jesus. We saw Jesus’ body placed inside, and we saw the stone seal the tomb.

What could we do? We had looked after Jesus for the past year or so. Walking away from that sealed tomb was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do. It felt so unnatural not to be following him.

We came back to make certain his body was cared for properly. But when we got there, and his body was gone! Jesus was gone!

I cried, “God, please don’t let them have taken his body! Can’t we at least have that?”

Then a man appeared, an angel, and he spoke peace. He ordered us to tell the fellas that Jesus would meet us back in Galilee, that we were to follow him there.

I told the fellas, but at first they didn’t believe. They had to see for themselves. I can’t say I blame them. I was still in a bit of shock myself.

But by the time we arrived in Galilee, we were ready, willing to still follow him.

But He wasn’t staying. He had to return to God. But He sent this Spirit. The Spirit makes following Him still possible. Connects us to Jesus and to God. Filled with the Spirit, we performed miracles and God’s kingdom was visible everywhere we went! And we told everyone about God, Jesus and the Spirit, and God poured His Spirit out onto all that asked, all that Jesus called to follow Him.

This includes you, you know.  

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