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 21

Monday: John 21:1-4
Tuesday: John 21:5-8
Wednesday: John 21:9-14
Thursday: John 21:15-19
Friday: John 21:20-25

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1.    Having witnessed Jesus’ death and resurrection, the disciples try to return to what had been normal to them. Jesus met them where they were, but he didn’t leave them there. Are there places in your life where, after encountering Jesus, you’ve attempted to return to something familiar and “normal,” only to find that something is askew? Is Jesus working to transform your normality? To what “new normal” is he calling you?

2.    Peter tries to compare himself to another disciple. Jesus, in so many words, tells Peter to mind his own business. Have you ever felt that someone else gets a better deal from Jesus than do you? Is Jesus speaking to you now about minding your own business, to focus your attention on how he is drawing you into his work?

John 20

Monday: John 20:1-10
Tuesday: John 20:11-18
Wednesday: John 20:19-23
Thursday: John 20:24-29
Friday: John 20:30-31

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

1. The story of God’s work begins and reaches a climax in a garden. Mary thought that Jesus was the man who tended the garden near the tomb. In Genesis 2, it is the first humans who set about to tend the garden. In John 20, Jesus rises victorious and appears to take on the posture of a gardener. How does this appearance transform the curse in Genesis 3? Is Jesus able to bring transformation to the areas of your life where you feel cursed?

2. Jesus comes back to see Thomas and gives him the physical evidence he seems to need in order to believe. Have you struggled with unbelief? Have you labored under the guilt of having that struggle in the first place? What if you offered your doubts to Jesus and asked him to give you what you need to believe? Would he love you as much as he loved Thomas?