Week 1, Day 2: Come, follow me
A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ.
- Charles Spurgeon
READ: MATTHEW 4:17-22
The first invitation Jesus extends to us, whoever we may be, is to follow him. Just like Peter, Andrew, James, and John, we too are invited to be disciples of Jesus. Eugene Peterson writes that being a disciple is to be:
people who spend our lives apprenticed to our master, Jesus Christ. We are in a growing-learning relationship, always. A disciple is a learner, but not in the academic setting of a schoolroom, rather at the work site of a craftsman. We do not acquire information about God but skills in faith.
But why would we even want to learn from Jesus?
Well, do you think Jesus lived life well? Do you think Jesus lived a good life? Do you think Jesus lived a life worth emulating? I do. I think Jesus lived the fullest life any human being has ever lived. He was the master of living well. We’re told in the Bible that “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Jesus]” (Colossians 1:19), meaning that in Jesus, we see what God is like; in Jesus, we also see what we were made to be like — after all, we are made in the image of God, made to reflect God (Genesis 1:26). Jesus is the fullest revelation of God to humanity so we know what God is like, and he is also the fullest representation of humanity to humanity so we know what we’re to be like.
If you wanted to learn a new language, wouldn’t you consult someone who was fluent in the language, rather than someone who’s a beginner like you? If you wanted to learn how to play a sport, wouldn’t you ask someone you think is good? Likewise, if you want to live well — and I hope I’m not making too big a leap to assume that you do — wouldn’t you want to learn from the person who lived the best, fullest, most fulfilled life in history?
Jesus’ disciple John wrote that in Jesus, “The Word [who was both with God in the beginning and who was God] became flesh” (John 1:14). In Jesus, the eternal God chose not only to limit himself in a physical, time-bound body, but also to experience all of the things we experience as human beings. In Hebrews 2:17-18 (The Message), it says:
That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself — all the pain, all the testing — and would be able to help where help was needed.
Later on, the author of the letter to the Hebrews writes: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15, NIV). Jesus understands us; Jesus knows what it means to be a human; and even with that knowledge and understanding, Jesus calls us to follow him and live as full a life as he did — and to introduce others to this gift of life as well.
REFLECT & RESPOND
Head: In what ways do you think Jesus lived well?
Heart: What difference does it make in your life that Jesus can empathize with what you’ve gone through and what you’re going through?
Hands: At least two times today, consider what it might look like for you to live as a follower of Jesus in the particular situation you’re in, and how that would be different if you weren’t following Jesus.
Ask God to help you follow and learn from Jesus. Spend time listening to God and reflecting on what that might look like in your life.
In Jesus, we know what God is like and what we're to be like.