My bike shoes have it all wrong. And the major message we hear today is wrong too: “Being a leader is the only way to succeed.”
Jesus has a different idea. He wants us to follow.
As he was calling people who would spend the most time with him, Jesus didn’t ask what degree they had. He didn’t interview them and ask for their ten-year goals.
He simply said, “Follow me…”
God also has a different idea of who He wants us to be. It was time for Israel to have another king. God chose the family of Jesse, a man who had eight sons. Jesse knew who would be the best candidate – anyone but his youngest, David.
Samuel was the guy God chose to pick the right son. God primed Samuel ahead of time: “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Samuel paraded all his sons before Samuel, but none were right. David was out herding sheep – Jesse did not even consider him. Samuel asked Jesse to send for David. “This is the one.”
Later into his time on this planet, Jesus went on to say, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” He did not say, “some of you who want to be my disciple…” or “most of you who want to be my disciple…” but “whoever…”
Then at the end of his time on the earth, as he was about to be killed, Jesus asked Peter, “Follow me…” (Peter was the guy Jesus appointed to head up his followers after he would be gone.)
If we want to learn from Jesus and get closer to him, we must follow.
Paul Merrill writes here every first Friday.