On Mission to Come and Follow and Go

It’s such a simple thing to observe…the tilt of the head in daughter, just as in mom; the stride of a walk in son, just as in dad.  The mannerisms, the verbal expressions, the interests, the delights shared in a family that spends time together. Intentional? A decision, “I will do this because my mom, my dad does this”?  No.  It happens because that is how God made us to learn.  He has planted in our hearts to unconsciously mimic those around us who are significant “actors” in our lives.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

Jesus was born.  He grew in a family.  As a young not-quite teen, He knew that it was time for Him to be about His Father’s business.  He went home after that Jerusalem proclamation and continued to grow in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.  John the Baptist came and began to prepare the way for Jesus, calling for repentance.  Jesus was baptized.  He was tempted in the wilderness by Satan.  He began to preach and continued the message of repentance and introduced the kingdom of heaven that now is at hand.  It is here that He begins to notice brothers here and there… Peter and Andrew, James and John… and He calls them.

Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as Your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Immediately they left their nets and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example].

Matthew 3:19-20

Jesus calls some more people to follow Him.  He does miracles. The crowds begin to follow Him.  Then He goes up on a mountain sits down with His disciples and teaches them, introducing them to the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 5-7. He spends the next three years of His life doing life with these men that He has called to Himself.

What exactly has Jesus called these men to?

  • Come.  Leave what you are doing and come with me.  Turn your attention away from life as you know it.  Come with me.
  • Follow.  Accept Me as Your Master and Teacher.  Walk the same path of life that I walk.  Re-orient your lives.  Allow Me to be the significant  “actor” in your life. 
  • I will make you fishers of men.  If you come to me, if you follow me, if you accept that you do not know how to live, if you allow Me to be Your Master and Teacher, if you walk the same path of life that I walk, I will equip you to be fishers of men.

I get so frustrated with myself often.  My heart does not look like the heart of Jesus.  I do not love.  I am distracted.  My words are not encouraging.  Why?  What do I need to do?  I have come.  We all have come.  We are all embarking on this journey together.

We are in God’s kingdom.  We must follow the Redeemer, the One Who came to bring in the kingdom of heaven.  We must accept Him as our master and our teacher.  We must walk the same path of life that He walked and walks.  We must keep our eyes focused on Him, our hearts full of love for Him, to remember… how much He loves us, what He sacrificed to make us clean, that He still washes our feet, to hope… for the bringing in of the Kingdom where we will live in His presence and in His light.  We must encourage one another, love one another well, pray for one another that we will be conformed to the image of our Master and Teacher.

Will we do it perfectly?  No.  But we will be equipped as we let Him teach us. 

That is partly why the Word became flesh.  We needed a model who could demonstrate for us what it is to be, in every way, tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Heb. 4:15).  Here then is also a model for the goodness of dramatic incarnation.  Our neighbors need examples of what people can fully-yet-righteously experience in God’s good-yet-fallen creation. Paul wrote, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (I Cor. 11:1) not presumably because he was vain. Rather he was meeting a real human need. 

from Firstfruits of a New Creation

This, then, is our challenge together until He returns.  We want to be a community of people who live before the world, in the flesh, looking to our teacher, and becoming like our teacher.

What do you do to learn more of what Christ is like?