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Some Things Jesus Didn’t Say

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,
“Follow me.”

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.

“Let’s go.”

Excerpted from Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace