It Is So Simple: “Follow Me”February 13, 2020
Water to Wine: Ordinary to SpectacularFebruary 25, 2020
We are back diving into the Gospel of John, as we finish our look at John 1:37-51. There are two principles in this passage dear to my heart:
- For a disciple of Jesus the simple path is, “Follow me.”
- For a disciple the simple invitation to others is, “Come and see.”
Last week we reminded ourselves that when we are confused, or distracted, or harried and hurried, and not sure what being a “good Christian” looks like, a simple step is to slow down, and simply follow Jesus … and his words.
But it does not always feel so simple, or easy to do, does it?
When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” (John 21:21-22 Bold mine)
Even Peter must be reminded – and rebuked – because he became preoccupied with John, and not Jesus. Jesus had just told Peter three times that his primary focus was to be on taking care of his followers: “Take care of my sheep.” Yet astoundingly, Peter immediately loses his focus, forgets his mission, and starts wondering about what John’s mission might be.
Jesus’ response is meant for us all: “What is that to you? You must follow me.”
Yes, Jesus, but what about all the Christian hypocrites?
“What is that to you? You must follow me.”
Okay, but what about the seven days of creation? And how did all the animals fit in the ark?
“What is that to you? You must follow me?”
What about predestination versus free will?
What about infant baptism versus immersion?
What about all the bad things done in the name of religion?
What about all the errors and contradictions critics claim are in the Bible?
What about … What about … What about …? – You fill in your own blank, but the answer is the same:
“What is that to you? I may make those things clear to you and I may not. But you must follow me.”
Now, many people you know who are not following Jesus have similar questions. For them your simple invitation is, “Come and see.”
“Just come and meet Jesus.” This is what Philip said to Nathaniel when he stiff-armed, and even questioned Jesus’ character.
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.” (John 1:46)
I have encountered many men and women who have objections, and even sincere questions similar to these above. I feel confident I can answer most of their questions – that is, if they really want an answer.
But I am even more confident that if they will “come and see Jesus,” two things will happen:
As they get to know Jesus they will like him. Really like him.
And they will be surprised when they realize how much he likes them. Really likes them.
And really likes you.
Not sure about that? Just come and see.