Friday, February 3, 2017

Following Jesus: Part 1

When Jesus called people to follow him, they understood that he was calling them to spend time with him, to listen to him, and to learn to relate to God as he did. For Jesus, this meant seeing God as Father and following God's commands. Jesus did something a bit different than the other rabbis though. He went to the spirit of the Law rather than just the letter. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught that the Law went beyond actions all the way to the heart. Jesus then took the entire Law and boiled it down to two commands; love God with every fiber of your being, and love others as you love yourself. And then, Jesus gave us the new command to love our brothers and sisters as he loved us.

I believe that these two things sum up what it means to follow Jesus. We love God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds, and with all our strength. We spend time with our Father, we learn what is important to him and those things become important to us. We seek his Kingdom above everything else. This involves far more than just reading and even studying the Bible, although that is an important part of it. It involves far more than just hearing sermons and Bible lessons, although that too is important.

We live in a world that asks us to love other things in place of God. There are a number of things that clamor for our affections and allegiance. These things all present a vision of the good life, a vision of a kingdom. Like the Sirens, these things try to draw us into the treacherous rocks where ships run aground and are destroyed. I want to look at that in a future post.

May God help us to love him and follow his Son as our King.

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