Come after me….
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luk 9:23)
Many many points could be made from this statement of our Lord. But I would like to make just one: Jesus is telling us what it takes to follow him. So much of the time, we are not really serious about following him. We want to follow other people and activities and priorities and at the same time have a little Jesus in our life. Aside from the denying of self and taking up of the cross, the point is, who are you going to follow?
If we go after Jesus, we have to go the way He is going, not ask Him to go the way we are going. Who is coming after whom?
So often we see bumper stickers that say “God is my co-pilot”. Which is really missing the point, isn’t it? We do not invite Jesus to go with us, he invites us to follow him. He sets the standard. One might assume then that as a Christian we have no say in the matter as to how our life goes. Actually, we have lots of say in the matter. However, Jesus’ say comes first and foremost.
The Lord says “Go work” so we go to work. Do we pick an honorable job and profession or do we pick one that is perhaps in the Bars and Casino’s? You might say “But someone has to work there….” Is that someone the one who is following Jesus?
So when we want to follow Jesus, we follow HIM. We do not follow the writings of Eastern religions, the teachings of the Qur’an, or even the writings of Creed books, Books of Mormon, or traditions of men, we follow Jesus. That does make it pretty exclusive I must admit and even a bit of a separatist religion. We can be friendly and respectful to those of these other faiths but not follow their faith.
There is no other name given in Heaven or on Earth by which men can be saved. Our job, if we choose to accept it, is to follow Jesus.