What was the last event you were invited to?
What was it that influenced your decision to accept that invitation or not?

Invitations. They’re powerful. We’re all familiar with what the concept of an invitation is, but what is it that influences who gets invited to where? When someone extends an invitation to us, they’re inviting us to come into the same space as them, be it tangible space or not. Depending on how significant the event we are invited to is, people will invest both money and hours of their time making sure they look just right and that the invitations get sent out to all of the right people.

We also see this concept of an invitation when it comes to living a life of following Jesus. Jesus invites us into the space of following him and the life he has to offer. We see these invitations arise multiple times in the Bible, such as when Jesus approached who would become his disciples and invited them to follow him.

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18-20 NIV

By dropping their nets, both Peter and Andrew accepted Jesus’s invitation to follow him. Just as Jesus invited Peter and Andrew to follow him, each of us has the invitation to follow him as well.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV

Note in that passage, it says that whoever follows Jesus will not walk in darkness. That means everyone. You, me, your neighbors, coworkers, friends. Everyone.
Now, in the case of Peter and Andrew, Jesus was still physically on the earth to invite them to follow him. Since Jesus has since died and rose again to heaven, how does that invitation get spread? We see how immediately following asking them to come and follow him, Jesus says that he is going to teach them to “fish for people.” What exactly does that mean?

It means that we are the people who are to be inviting others into the adventure of following Jesus. In fact, in some of Jesus’s last words, he gives us the command to do exactly that:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 NIV

Just as Peter and Andrew accepted the invitation to follow Jesus and become his disciples, those of us who have already made the decision to follow Jesus are to make disciples and invite people into the adventure of following Jesus as well. Similar to how the invitation to follow Jesus is something that is open to all people, Jesus’s statement to go and make disciples is a statement that applies to all who call themselves Christians. Not just the leaders in the church, everyone. With that I ask, have you accepted Jesus’s invitation to you to follow him, and if so, how are you extending that invitation to others so they may also experience the freedom of living in the light of life?