Follower of Jesus (1)
Nov 13, 2016
Follower of Jesus (1)
Jesus, knowing that they intended
To come and make him king by force,
Withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
John 6:15 (NIV)
I will be writing a series of posts using the words and actions of Jesus to come to a better understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. I will not use the term “to be a Christian”, for that has come to mean very many different things to many people. In general, a ‘Christian’ refers to belonging to a church that calls itself a ‘Christian Church’. If one even attends a church on a regular basis is irrelevant, and it is too often been years since such a person has attended a service, let alone attempted to live a life that would meet the approval of Jesus.
On the other hand, there are many who attend church, praise God in loud and joyous terms, think of themselves as good and holy Christians unlike those others over there, yet whose life does not match at all what Jesus spoke about in his three years of spoken ministry.
And we have still others, who never attend church, but whose lives of compassion and giving fulfills all the admonishes and urgings of Jesus, and who certainly ‘follow Jesus’, often unknowingly.
Too many of our church services are loud in the praises of God. As I write this, many of the main stream Christian churches will be soon celebrating The Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, as it is so grandly called. Sounds great, and gives us a good reason to praise God, and then go on with our lives as if nothing has changed.
Yet Jesus himself rejected the role of a king. As quoted above from John, Jesus effectively vanished from their midst, or most likely became a person of non-interest, so he could just walk away while they argued over important details such as who would have what position, etc.
Jesus did not want titles, did not need the adulation of crowds. Yes, I know, it will be brought up to me the story of Jesus being led while sitting on a donkey through the streets of Jerusalem with the cheering of the crowds. It is unfortunate that all the information passed down from the civic codes and history of that time say that at that time of the year, Passover, with the attending of thousands of visitors from all over, it was considered by the Roman authorities a high tension moment, and the cities were filled with Roman soldiers to prevent any chance uprising against the Roman Empire. The soldiers would have quickly dispersed such a crowd, especially one claiming a king in opposition to the Emperor, so probably that story was added 40-60 years later when the gospels were written, after the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 to emphasize the importance of Jesus in Jerusalem. (Sorry to disillusion you, but ‘details’ such as this were added in any good story at that time of history. Very few wrote historical events just to record the event, but embellished the stories to emphasize a point and to make a grand sounding story.)
I think it is safe to say, based on the probable truth to the tale quoted at the start of this discussion, Jesus did not want to be known as a king, but spent his time attempting to draw people into living a life full of meaning and purpose. It was far more important to bring his message of the Love of God that was meant to be echoed by humanity, made in the image and likeness of God, to become fully human as the Face of God on earth.
We will continue to look at the words of Jesus, and what the true follower of Jesus should be doing in this life, to be called a disciple of Jesus.
My Beloved Guide, You give me love that overflows all that I am, just because I am here. Your love is breathtaking, lifting me up when I am down, gentling me when I lose sight of the goal, giving me joy just to be alive. You help me see the unity of all; I am not alone but am part of the universal human living a life that will lead, eventually, to a life of oneness in Your love here in this plane of existence with all creatures and planes of life on our planet. I ask for a home in the shelter of Your Love, a Love that is always there, above me, below me, in front of me, behind me, and filling me with the eternal energy, if I but open my eyes to see.
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