Have you ever had that feeling someone was following you? You know, you are driving along and the car behind you seems to be making the same turns you are, so to throw them off you turn the opposite way you were intending to go, and they are still following you! So you get a little panicked and pull over, and to your relief they pass you.
Maybe that has not happened to you, but one time I was in a large store and kept getting that feeling I was being followed. So I quickened my pace and turned down an aisle. I had given them the slip! I went about my shopping when all of the sudden a little hand reached out and tugged at my pants. My little stalker had found me. I squatted down to his level to say hi just as his mom came around the corner apologizing. She said I kind of looked like the boys grandpa and said, “I don’t know what’s got into him, he seems so determined to chase after you. I finally let him go to see what he would do…I was following close behind.” (I think she added that last part so I did not think she was an inattentive parent.) Well, I was both flattered and hit with the reality I look like a grandpa!
As we said our goodbyes and I ruffled the boy’s hair he continued to look at me rather confused. As they walked away, I was intrigued. What had caught my attention and fascination was this little guy was willing to leave the love, safety, and security of his mom to follow what he thought was his grandpa. His grandpa must be quite a man, quite a prominent figure in this boy’s life to have left his mom’s side.
This experience came to mind as I read through one of the Scripture readings from this week’s Daily Lenten Reading Schedule (see below for the rest of this week’s readings and beyond). It flashed into my thoughts as I read Matthew 4:18-22 where Jesus came to two sets of brothers and said ‘Follow Me.’…and they did! Peter and Andrew responded:
Matthew 4:20 At once they left their nets and followed Him (Jesus).
As well, James and John, the Sons of Thunder (see Mark 3:17), jumped at the opportunity…
Matthew 4:22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him (Jesus).
Yes, these brothers followed Jesus, but they left the comfort, security, safety, and most likely, love of their family business.
See, following Jesus does require us to leave or give up something. Much of the time we want to have life the way we want it and follow Jesus when we have time or it’s convenient. In addition, we can want Jesus to follow us, kind of hoping Jesus is like those helicopter-moms who hover and dote over their kids way too much, or those tiger-moms who stand ready to pounce, pushing their kids to achieve.
Jesus is not like that. Jesus is our Creator-God as it says Colossians 1:15-17 and is the One who holds all things together.
Colossians 1:16-17 For by Him (Jesus) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Philippians 2:6-8 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!
And there is more. All through the Bible it talks of how amazing, incredible, wonderful, remarkable, marvelous, and miraculous Jesus is and the One worth following.
So as we walk through this Lenten season (the 40 days minus Sundays before Easter) of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, are you prepared to follow Jesus? He is well worth it!
Lent Bible Reading for this week and beyond:
Thursday, March 13: Mark 1:21-28 (Also see Luke 4:31b-37)
Friday, March 14: Matthew 8:14-17 (Also see Mark 1:29-34, Luke 4:38-41)
Saturday, March 15: Mark 1:35-39 (Also see Luke 4:42-43)
Sunday, March 16: Mark 1:40-45 (Also see Matthew 8:2-4, Luke 5:12-16)
Monday, March 17: Mark 2:1-12 (Also see Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26)
Tuesday, March 18: Mark 2:13-17 (Also see Matthew 9:9-13, Luke 5:27-32)
Wednesday, March 19: John 5:1-9
Thursday, March 20 John 5:10-18
Friday, March 21: Matthew 5:1-12 (Also see Luke 6:17-26)
Saturday, March 22: Matthew 5:13-16
Sunday, March 23: Matthew 6:19-24
Seeking to Follow Jesus with you,