It is a very good thing to be a follower of Jesus. But like people in the gospels, we today can end up following Jesus for many reasons: salvation, miracles, curiosity, etc.
Those are all good things. But they are not the same as actually loving Jesus for Himself. It is good to thank Him for what He does; but it is better to worship Him for who He is.
I see this most clearly in the life of the Apostle John. Twelve disciples had forsaken everything to be with Him, done many miracles in His name, and even shared His Body and Blood at the Last Supper. But ten of them abandoned Jesus at the hour of His need; and one betrayed Him.
Only John followed Jesus all the way to the cross. Perhaps that is why he is known as the beloved disciple; or perhaps knowing he was so loved is why he made it to the cross.
Either way, that is the kind of disciple I want to be: one who is so in love with Jesus that I don’t mind the loss of His gifts, or even my life, as long as I can be with Him.
Interestingly, the key to that kind of love seems to be forgiveness. Love then becomes the key to obeying Jesus as a friend, rather than a servant.
- As I forgive others, I receive forgiveness
- The more I am forgiven, the more I love Jesus
- As I love Him, I become more concerned with what the Father wants than what I want, so I am able obey Him with my whole heart
it is the cry of my heart to grow closer to Jesus that way. If you share that hunger, I invite you to join me in Discipling By Jesus during Lent 2021, starting Feb 25/26.
- John 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you.
- John 14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
- Luke 7:47 Therefore I tell you, because her many sins have been forgiven, she has loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
- Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
- Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Matthew 18:22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!
- Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters: Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
- John 14:28 You heard Me say, ‘I am going away, and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.