As my son said to me recently, as we prepared to read the Bible, "Dad, don't read that passage; I've already read it." Sure, haven't we read it all? Indeed, we've read it, heard it, sang it, meditated on it, and so on, sometimes so much that we can no longer seem to really hear it.
That's why I appreciate that occasion when I'm reading a passage and stumble over it, realizing how odd or unlike my reality it is. That's what happened a few days ago when I read Mark 1:14-20, where Jesus calls his first disciples. He's walking along, sees Simon and Andrew, and then James and John. Scripture records his only words as "Come, follow me." No "how's the fishing today?, nice weather, hi I'm Jesus, how's your family?, by the way I need a few good men, can you wrap things up here and come along and if it's a good fit we'll see about making it a permanent position and oh yeah here's what you'll be doing and hello Mom and Dad I'm taking your son he'll probably be martyred and blah blah blah (no disrespect intended)." I mean, all he says is those three little words. And yet it says that "at once they left their nets and followed him." If this wasn't Holy Writ, I'd say the writer of the Gospel took license here and made the story a little more dramatic, but, as it is, I'll take it on its face. Three life-changing words.
To be fair, He might have said something else, as Scripture doesn't tell us everything but, rather, only what is necessary for our life in Christ. But, then again, Jesus isn't depicted as one who made a lot of small talk, minced words, or chattered away. His words counted. I suspect that even at a wedding feast his words were thoughtful and, if he joked, it was to good effect.
Three little words. He had authority. I'm reminded of the doctrine of irresistible grace: all who the Father calls will come to him. I guess in this way these fisherman could not say no; they felt a holy compulsion. That's authority that only God has.
Now, if I could just get my kids to obey me this way.
Hey! "Put your little sister down, now, don't make me come over there, I'll count to three. I mean it." Do I really mean it?
Jesus sure did.