What does it mean to follow Jesus. Jesus invites us to do so, “Come follow me and I will make you fisher of men” (Matthew 4:19). Yet at the same time I often spend all of our time inviting Jesus into my life. Follow means follow. We need to stop inviting Jesus into our lives and start listening to his invitation into his life. If you have invited Jesus into your life for his forgiveness and acceptance it is time to follow. Jesus now invites us to follow him. His kingdom is coming all around us and that’s our invitation to join him. He has given us his Spirit to lead and guide us as we follow him step by step each and every moment of each day. Jesus is that kingdom and everywhere we see him at work is his invitation to join him in his coming of his kingdom. When we do, his prayer for “his kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven” is realized and we get to participate.
At the same time we are greatly challenged when it comes to Jesus and his ways. Maybe that’s why he began his ministry with the words “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 4:17). It is as if Jesus is saying stop everything and reconsider. Jesus calls us to re-look, rethink, reconsider, repent. When talking about his kingdom Jesus reminds us of our own challenge in seeing and hearing it, “Though seeing they do not see; though hearing they do not hear or understand” (Matthew 13:13). Who? Who is he talking to? The religious crowd. People like you and me. That’s why repenting for me is about loosing my religion and rediscovering the simplicity of Jesus and his ways. That’s why every single day of my life I get up and the first thing I pray as I I spend time with him is “Show me your way”. I don’t want to be the guy that sees, but doesn’t see and hears, but doesn’t hear or understand. Unfortunately so often I am.
That’s why I began an interesting kind of fast nearly a year ago. In my own personal time along with God I get up every morning and pray my prayer, “Show me your way” and I read the Gospels. What is different about it is I only read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). It’s not that I don’t care about or love the other parts of the Bible, but alone the way I found myself becoming more about religion and less about Jesus. Just what the Pharisee’s did and they all the Bible. At least they had the Old Testament. So I’ve been reading and re-reading the Gospels in order to refocus my life on Jesus.
Please don’t miss understand me, it’s not that I don’t think Jesus is in the other parts of the Bible. I do, but I had began to miss him for less important stuff. That’s why I’m reading and re-reading the Gospels. Soon I will break this fast and go back to the Old Testament and further into the New Testament, but for now I’m focusing on the Gospels.
I’m also focusing on following Jesus. That’s why my prayer today is show me your way. However, it isn’t just about his ways for he is the way. As I face today I’m looking for him and when I see him then I have a choice: I can follow him or I can do my own thing. If I don’t see him I don’t have a choice. That’s why I’m praying show me your way and I’m reading the Gospels over and over again. More of him, less of me. That’s the Jesus way!