Following Jesus

Jesus implored the disciples to follow him. And they did. But then one day he said this to them: “Where I am going you cannot come.” (1) So . . . they were not to follow? It confused Peter, and he asked, “Lord, where are you going?” (2) Jesus repeated, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” (2) So . . . not now but later? Peter, still confused, asked, “Lord, why can I not follow you? I will lay down my life for you.” (3)

Sometimes it is confusing to be a follower of Jesus. We (like Peter) are ready and willing to go anywhere but there are days (or maybe seasons) when the direction is unclear.  We (like Peter) demand clarification and explain to Jesus that we want to give our lives for him. We claim we will do anything! And we really believe this. 😬

But Jesus knows us better than we do ourselves. He responds to Peter, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.” (4) At that point Peter begins to argue with Jesus. I imagine others might have defended him! 😲 Perhaps the moment became quite tense because the next thing Jesus says is this: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” (5) He told them not to worry about it.

But we do. And so did Peter. We just want to know where to go, what to do. Instructions, please, Jesus! So to instill faith in the disciples, Jesus says, “you know the way to where I am going.” (6) But this only confuses Thomas (and us) even more. Thomas responds, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” (7)  In other words, We really don’t know the way, Jesus. Give us the details, Jesus.

But God rarely does. Give us the details. Why is that? Because knowing the details eliminates the need for faith. God wants us to trust him with the details. But still . . . the question Thomas asks is relevant. How are we to know which way to go? And here is the very simple (yet quite complex) answer that Jesus gives him: “I am the way.” (8) In other words—Know me. Study me. Watch me. Learn from me. And you will know what to do and where to go when you need to know it. And, unfortunately, not a moment before. 😉 Why? Because . . . knowing ahead of time eliminates the need for faith. “For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (9)

Well, this is quite difficult, don’t you agree? 😟 But I think Philip began to understand what Jesus was talking about. He responded, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” (10) So as we pray for direction—where to go, what to do—we need to remember Jesus’ words: “Believe in God.” And respond like Philip, “It is enough.”

In the meantime, here is a good example of walking in faith. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” (11)

Abraham did not question. He just “went out, not knowing where he was going.” 🤔

1) John 13:33       2) John 13:36      3) John 13:37      4) John 13:38      5) John 14:1      6) John 14:4      7) John 14:5     8) John 14:6        9) Romans 8:24-25    10) John 14:8    11) Hebrews 11:8

2 Comments on “Following Jesus”

  1. Debbie, thank you for sending these messages to me. They are very encouraging and uplifting.
    Thank you. I hope you have a great day.
    Love in Jesus Christ.

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