Many of us are aware of this opportunity that Jesus gave to people in the pages of the Bible but we may not be aware that His words were never intended to be locked into a particular time and location. He has the same leadership skills in 2015AD that He possessed when Peter and John heard those words 2000 years ago.
So Jesus gives us the opportunity to confidently go through life with a “personal coach” that brings an expertise and love to the situation that is always enough. There is not a moment in time or a context or a complexity of life that leaves Jesus in the dark. The entrance of Jesus is the necessary light – each and every time!
As personal as the words of Jesus are to follow Him through life, they were never intended to be understood as a call to go through life as a solo act. Jesus invited his followers to go through life together and He has the same expectation today. This is an essential part of what it means to follow Jesus. We follow Jesus as a community and as a family. This is a very important aspect of following Jesus.
Jesus loves you. Jesus loves me. He wants us to love each other too. In fact, it is not optional and if we want to walk with Jesus we are required to walk with each other. This walking with Jesus and each other is intended by our God to be a thing of such unique love that people notice. This love of ours will not be perfect like Jesus’ love is, but even that is part of the story we tell. Our imperfections will provide the places in our lives where we “Follow Jesus” into giving forgiveness and grace. It will really be something!
At this stage in my life it has become very clear to me that relationships matter. They matter for a number of reasons but I think I can summarize it in this way:
- I need to love and I need to be loved.
- I need to give and I need to receive.
Packed within those two bullet points is the totality of my life and God’s design for all my relationships. The thing I want to make sure we understand about following Jesus together is that it is intended to happen when it is very easy and when it feels more like work. It is through it all that we become God’s family in general and Oak Hill in particular. We need the fun times to enjoy relationships’ joys and we need the difficult times to grow strong and deep.
So, when Jesus says “Follow Me” it is also understood to mean “Follow Me together”.
Jesus unites us in John 10.27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
From one sheep to another,