I received a lot of feedback from a post suggesting that we make faith entirely too complicated. Jesus didn’t say figure out every theological jot and tittle. (Note to spiritual hall monitors: there is an important place for that discipline. No all caps comments please)
Jesus didn’t say, “Go and clean up your act, and I will deem you a worthy follower.”
He didn’t say, “Browbeat yourself and others into behaving better in order to earn the badge of righteousness.”
Jesus didn’t say, “Try harder, be more disciplined, and I will be pleased with you.”
He simply said,
Not once. Pretty regularly.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)
Jesus told him, “Follow me.” (Matthew 8:22)[Jesus said,] “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
(Matthew 16:24) [Jesus answered,] “Come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)
Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” (John 1:43)[Jesus replied,] “Whoever serves me must follow me.” (John 12:26)
“Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. (Matthew 9:9)
In the immortal words of Forrest Gump, “I’m not a smart man.” But I have a keen sense of the obvious. Jesus is saying to follow Him. That takes childlike trust on my part. The rest of it we will figure out together as I follow Him in complete trust. I am, even if you are kind in your evaluations, a slow learner. I cannot believe how long it took me to even begin to understand God’s grace and how much freedom that gives me. But to begin to live out of that truth, I had to trust it.
It starts by having no fear when Jesus asks me to follow Him. When He says, “Follow Me,” the response should be simple.