Follow Me?

Hither ye behind me! Yep; that’s what Jesus said. Modern translations simply say, “Come follow me.” These words of Jesus were an imperative call to present and continuous action. One Greek Grammar says that Jesus was calling for long-term commitment; to habits suited to such a commitment; a commitment that would cultivate virtue leading to a certain lifestyle. Ignatius, working with this big kingdom idea, taught us to follow Jesus by finding God in all things. He and other spiritual masters knew that this meant we had to engage in practices of noticing, reflecting and discerning; learning to be steadily conscious of God, self and others.  Frank Laubach (Letters by a Modern Mystic), stands in this tradition. He writes that submission is the first and last duty of man; that we are learning to respond to God as a violin responds to the bow of the master.  He says this begins with listening, moves to surrender and finds it best fruit in a determined, resolved will to act with God. The question mark we’ve put at the end of Jesus’ imperative is both invitation and call to decisive action to take serious Jesus’ command to come follow me—and in so doing to find, in Laubach’s words, that every day is tingling with the joy of glorious discovery.

– Todd Hunter​

John 19

Monday: John 19:1-16a
Tuesday: John 19:16b-24
Wednesday: John 19:25-30
Thursday: John 19:31-37
Friday: John 19:38-42

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1.    Pilate’s power is a received and temporal power. Jesus knows the opposite is true of God. How are we often formed by powers—politics, government, institutions, family, media—and then view the Lordship of Jesus through those lenses? Where is the tension in your life between the power of culture and the power of God?

2.    Jesus alone carries his cross, but dies in the company of two criminals. When he thirsts, his executioners give him some of their own cheap wine. The religious elite called Jesus “friend of sinners.” Have you considered where you stand in relation to those we call “sinners?” Do you stand far from them or side-by-side with them?

John 18

Monday: John 18:1-11
Tuesday: John 18:12-18
Wednesday: John 18:19-27
Thursday: John 18:28-32
Friday: John 18:33-40

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1.    Once Jesus is bound and taken away by the temple guard, the remaining disciples are left standing alone. Put yourself among them. What are the thoughts going through your mind? What do you think you might have lost?

2.    In this text Peter appears to move from reckless courage (attacking the high priest’s servant with a sword) to tentative fear (his three denials). What do you think accounts for the shift in his behavior? Why do you think it is significant that both of these things take place as Peter positions himself in close proximity to Jesus?

3.    When Jesus speaks of testifying and belonging to “the truth,” Pilate asks (probably in a rhetorical way), “What is truth?” Why do you think that no answer is provided to Pilate’s question? Does this say something to you about how you determine what is true in relationship to Jesus?