During the season of Lent, we’ll be exploring the passages of Scripture where Jesus invites people to follow him. As we’ll see, this invitation often means people need to learn to unfollow something else. These invitations extend to us today, challenging us to investigate what really matters in our life. Today, we talk about what it means to follow Jesus in light of our work.
What is the worst job you ever had? Why was it so bad?
Matthew 4:18-22; Jeremiah 16:16
- How would you describe our culture’s relationship with work? Is it healthy? Why/why not?
Read Matthew 4:18-22
- Americans forfeited 50% of their vacation days in 2017. Why do you think our society is so enamored with working?
- What is Jesus asking the disciples to do when he says, “Follow me?” Think beyond this passage to what you know about other parts of Scripture.
- During this time, people did not change jobs as frequently as we do. To leave their job was to leave their only means of support and a key part of their communal identity (e.g. sons of Zebedee). In light of that, how do you assess the their response?
- Do you think you would have responded to Jesus’ call in this way? Why/why not?
- What does Jesus’ call to follow him and the disciples’ responses say about identity in Christ?
Read Jeremiah 16:16
- Many scholars believe that the Matthew passage is a reference to Jeremiah. How does that change how you understand this passage?
- The phrase “fishers of men” is the translation of the Greek halieis anthropos. The term halieis, however, is far more than just fisherman. It refers to a whole set of skills related to living off of the sea. Alternately translated, the passage could read “I am going to point your skills towards people.” If this is the case, their call to follow looks similar to ours. How might Jesus be calling you to use your work as a way to follow him?
- What keeps you from seeing your workplace as an area where you can work for God’s kingdom?
- What might God be asking you to give up in relation to work, especially during this season of Lent?