We are always on a journey. We might be drawing closer to Jesus. We may be wrongfully journeying away from Jesus. We sometimes journey through great trials that raise questions but ultimately teach us and bring us closer to God. Half the time we are not conscious of our journey. We live our day-to-ay lives without thinking about how we are being changed and how we’re changing the lives of others.
Important decisions and significant life changes have a way of rekindling our awareness of our spiritual journey—our walk with the Lord, the unfolding of our life purposes.
I’m making important decisions, and I have more to make. I’m charging into life-altering territory, and with a heightened awareness of my spiritual journey with God.
Will you be bold?
In verse 57 that “someone” made a bold proclamation: “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” He may not have known the full extent of his words. Perhaps it was naïve of him to say it; however, his words opened the door to greater understanding. His words initiated a lesson, not only for him but also for the others on the journey. The disciples were learning and deepening their connection with God and His work for them.
Through God’s grace and the workings of the Holy Spirit, Christ’s mission continues today. We learn and rise to challenges while journeying today. The Lord has lessons for us, and He teaches them while we walk with Him, not as a prerequisite for walking with Him. Be bold! Embrace the journey and all the lessons along the way!
First read Luke 9:57-62 (a recent post categorized under “Verse of the Week”)
When I read this passage, the words “…as they journeyed…” stood out to me. These words set the scene for the story. The followers of Jesus were with Jesus and journeyed with Him. In that moment, they were following Him. They may have held a limited perspective. They didn’t fully understand Jesus, His mission, and discipleship; but they followed. They followed with eagerness, even if they later learned the parameters of their eagerness. They were enlightened of their limited understanding. In the midst of their journey with the Christ, they learned.
Initially I assumed that the followers of Jesus who spoke of their attachments were so intent on observing their specific areas of concern that they strayed from the path and returned home, buried a loved one, and officially offered parting words. I assumed, but I couldn’t know that such events took place. The story concludes with a message from Jesus, not the actions of His followers. As I repeatedly read this passage, I began to abandon my initial assumption.
Just because they didn’t have everything figured out from the get go, doesn’t mean they abandoned Jesus. Jesus’ responses were enlightening. He revealed the stumbling block in the voiced perspectives and reiterated the call to “go and preach the kingdom of God” (vs.60). Jesus’ words helped the disciples better understand the challenges involved in discipleship: “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.” (vs 62). In this passage, Jesus gets the final word. He offers a lesson. Although we do not know the disciples’ initial response, we do know that at least eleven people continued with Jesus through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension.
Through God’s grace and the work of the Holy Spirit, Christ’s mission continues today. The Lord has lessons for us, and He teaches them while we walk with Him, not as a prerequisite for walking with Him. We learn and rise to the challenges as we journey today, tomorrow, and onward.
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him,“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
May these verses from the story of Joshua’s call from God empower you in your journey.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; odo not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
We cry out to God and ask Him to comfort us, counsel us, and heal us. We call out to Him in our times of trial and ask Him to make His presence known. We trust that God walks alongside us and tends to our needs. However, in the Gospels, when Jesus was dwelling on earth, we read of the disciples walking with Jesus, not Jesus walking with the disciples.
Jesus certainly didn’t need the disciples in the personal sense. He did not call upon the disciples so that they could comfort Him, counsel Him, and give Him strength. When Jesus faced temptation in the wilderness, He prevailed against all difficulty with the power of scripture and His prayerful communion with the Father. Jesus did not take people with Him.
He doesn’t need us to attend to His personal needs. But, Jesus does need our help in furthering the Kingdom of God. In responding to needs and building God’s kingdom here on earth, we are, in a way, with Him in His trials. Consider this illustration from Matthew 25:31-40, NKJV:
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
When we are present to and help people and when we address the needs of this world we continue to walk with Jesus; however we also know that Jesus walks with us, as stated in the Gospel according to Matthew, “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20b). Though He has ascended to the Father, Jesus is still with us in spirit, word, and deed. Therefore, we are blessed in two ways: (1) We walk with God, and (2) God walks with us. One walk, two blessings. Thanks be to God.