Called for what???
Called to bear fruit that will last.
Your parents call you in to eat…
Your resume that you sent in for that new job is greeted with a call…
You take a number in the bank, in the hospital, when you go pay your bills, and after a while, a robotic stereotype voice calls your number…
The girl or guy of your dreams, suddenly out of the blue calls you…
All these things that I mentioned above, has a no brainer answer…The call, each call requires a response. There are two responses that are needed; it’s either a positive response or a negative one.
What we read in the Theme for the whole SIB this year, the short text reads “we are called to bear fruit that lasts”. The first part of the text says that “we are called”. Jesus calls us.
What is Jesus’ call to each one of us?
Invitation to those he Chooses
He tells his disciples “come follow me” (Matt 4:19). This is an extension of invitation. He does not pull ears, bring down fire, exert force, shout out loud in your ears when he does this. He simply calls; he simply says, “come”. There are no signs of rudeness or harsh words. An invitations sounds safe and gives you time to think whether you want to follow or not. His invitation is to experience him.
One important mention, when we treat Jesus’ call in terms of invitation it talks about him being the one who chooses.
In John 15:16 “…You did not choose me, but I chose you…”.
This goes against the way disciples or rather students chose their teacher; rabbi (in their time). Just like when we watch a kungfu movie, it is the student who chooses his teacher, not the other way round.
Another thing about his call is that it is specific. He calls to “follow him”. In other words to do things the way Jesus did-Jesus way.
Jesus’ Invitation, is simply put; an invitation (especially directed to you) for change of our present way to his way:
“Are you (your name) willing to change your course of life to follow mine?”
What kind of Change
Since we know that the call that Jesus puts forth to us is an invitation for change, we want to look at the nature of the change, or what kind of change is Jesus actually talking about.
We have already discovered the first part what the text says. The second half tells us what kind of change God requires when we respond to the call to follow him. To simply put it God requires that we…
1. Bear Fruit – what is the produce of your change
It’s funny, if you think in a funny way that is. God calling us who are humans to bear fruit like trees. That is simply not how we are. But God is talking metaphorically.
Why fruit? An easy way to explain- When we look at the fruit we can know what kind of Tree. Sure we can know what kind of tree by the leaf, the trunk and the look. But are these things useful, significant, edible? For anyone the fruit explains what type of tree, whether it is good or bad.
Now can we say a tree is sour or bad just by looking at it? You must be some sort of prophet to do that. But for anyone with any type of IQ, we just eat the fruit, and true enough we can make judgment whether the tree is good or not.
The kind of change that God requires from us is that we must bear fruit. Our lives must show a change.
Lk 3:8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.’
If we say that we believe in Jesus and have responded to his call there must be change. Like Zacheus, Paul, Peter. These people are examples of people who show that they have responded to the call by showing change. We can see the fruit.
2. Fruit that will last
Sure calls us to bear fruit/ to show change, but like trees also, they don’t just bear fruit once and that is it. If they stop bearing fruit that shows that the tree is dead or of no use already. So down with the tree. Who likes trees that have stopped bearing fruits?
Jesus also requires us to continually bear fruit. Not just once but bear fruit that will last. What does this mean, fruit that will last?
It means that we continually grow in our change state to become more like Jesus. Like when we follow Jesus, we respond to his call, our lives must show change. But in a way that is gradual.
A baby doesn’t just know how to talk because it has a mouth. The baby has to learn to talk. And in that learning the continues to grow and expand the way people should talk, until we mature.
It is so with us too. We must bear fruit (show change) but don’t just stop there, we must bear fruit that will last (continue to change into the image of Jesus).
In the end the fruit will define the call.
- OIL TOWN, SWK, Malaysia
- I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations