Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (NIV)
This past summer, my friend and I were camping at Seal Bay Recreational Vehicle (RV) Park, when a new family moved onto the neighbouring site. They had two small boys, obviously brothers, aged three and five years. Those boys put on quite a show, climbing all over their RV site. What caught my attention was the way the younger boy copied every step the older brother took. The younger brother was trying to do exactly the same thing as his older brother, even to the stance and expression. He obviously idolized his older brother, following his every step.
When Jesus said "Follow me", how did He mean that exactly? Did Jesus mean for us to follow Him step by step, copying exactly what He did? Are we to follow Jesus by taking up our cross, living a totally unselfish life? Whom do we know who is blind, needing to see the truth about Jesus? How do we enter such a conversation? How can we help our neighbour who is out of work?
As we contemplate the tasks ahead in following Jesus, we need to pray that Jesus' Spirit within helps us to understand this divine blueprint, showing us how to find ways to share the good news of salvation with the poor.
Does such a blueprint for today make sense? Is this how you and I follow Jesus, step by step in faith, following His example? I suspect Jesus would approve.
Prayer: O Lord, the challenge to follow You is huge. We very much need Your Spirit in us to show us how, and to give us the courage and strength to accomplish that which You call us to do. May we always be aware that You go before us, preparing the way. That is the basic truth about following: You go before us! Thus, each step is prepared far ahead of time as we follow You with faith and confidence this day. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.