Elam, The Unfollower
The day had started wrong for Elam. His brother had left the fishing nets after work yesterday without cleaning them. So here he was, cleaning nets before the sun even broke the horizon.
Despite his annoyance with his brother, he desperately needed time to think. And the early morning hours were perfect for quiet contemplation. Elam’s friend Cephas had recently introduced him to the most interesting and compelling man he had ever met.
Yeshua was charismatic for a carpenter’s son. And though his teachings were compelling, the idea of him being the promised Messiah was a little hard to swallow. But then again, maybe God’s idea of the Messiah may not match our expectations. Had the Messiah come during their time? All signs pointed to yes.
As the sun rose and the village started coming alive, Elam kept his head down and continued his daily chores. When suddenly, a crowd formed and was coming his way along the shoreline. It was Yeshua and several of his followers.
As they neared, Elam focused intently on his work. He wasn’t ready to answer the “Yeshua” question just yet. But instead of passing on by, Yeshua continued walking toward him. Avoiding eye contact, Elam focused intently on the nets between his feet. Until Jesus’ sandaled feet stopped directly in front of him.
“Good morning, Elam. You are hard at work this morning.”
“Yep, I’ve got lots to do today.”
“I can see that. It seems you have a lot on your mind today as well. Have you decided who you think I am yet?”
How could he have known? “Well, uh, I really enjoy your teachings, and you, um, well…”
He looked up
“Follow me, and it will all become clear.”
That made sense. “Where are you going today, Yeshua? Let me finish my chores here, and I will meet you there.”
“Elam, Follow me.”
“I will be there in a few hours, don’t worry. I would never want to miss hearing the words of the Messiah.”
Yeshua’s face showed disappointment, but he turned and continued on his way with his small band of followers. Elam knew where they were going since they often frequented the same beach on the Galilean shore. When he got a chance, he would head that way and meet up with them. But in the meantime, he would clean his nets and finish his chores.
As they reached their destination, Jesus taught his disciples for several hours as the Pharisees looked on. The highlight of his teachings for that day was one phrase that left his followers and the Pharisees thinking.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness. But will have the light of life.”
As Elam finished his work for the day, the sun was setting. The light had faded, and he never reached the Galilean beach as promised. But even from this distance, he could see the glow of the campfire where Jesus’ followers gathered to discuss the day’s teachings and share a meal with the Messiah. He could faintly make out the figures of a dozen or so people gathered around the light. Elam collected his tools and walked home, in the darkness.
- What must someone do if they want to “walk in the light and never walk in darkness”?
- What does it mean to follow Jesus?
- Does going to church equal following Jesus? Or does He require something more?
- Did Elam follow Jesus? Why?
- What have you learned from this parable?