Day 1: Follow Jesus
In response to the query, Jesus instructs him to get rid of all of his earthly entanglements and, in His own words, ‘follow Me’. To follow Jesus is the fundamental responsibility and purpose and opportunity of every single person who ever lived. It isn’t to go to meetings on a Sunday morning, to join a church, to undergo certain traditional rituals, to abide by a list of do’s and don’ts, or to hold particular political views. It is to follow Jesus.
And to follow Jesus has significant implications. First, we don’t get to go wherever we want. Jesus sets the agenda. The upside on this one is that when we follow Jesus, we end up in the same destination as Jesus.
Second, the movement of following Jesus implies that we leave some things behind. What we broadly labelled ‘earthly entanglements’ for the rich young man meant all of his possessions. For you, those ‘earthly entanglements’ might mean worldviews or postures or sinful habits or some combination of these.
Third, it implies relationship. We’re not following a set of rules or a philosophy—something inanimate. We are invited by Jesus to follow Him. Yes, He was crucified on the Cross for our sins (yours and mine). But on the third day He conquered sin and death, defeating the devil, rising again, ascending to heaven, where He now lives, and more than lives, reigns in anticipation of His triumphant return. He’s alive. And while you may have heard a Christian phrase about ‘asking Jesus into my life’, Jesus is inviting this young man into HIS life. And He makes the same invitation to us.
Play that one out for a moment. We follow Him, part of His life, engaging with Him in the most adventurous, abundant experience in the universe!
You’d think that’d be the easiest ‘sell’ on the planet. You’d think that people would automatically buy into that deal. But, of course, not everyone can imagine how amazing that experience will be. And some are infatuated with the ‘earthly entanglements’ we alluded to above. And, like the rich young ruler, they choose the status quo.
If you’re at that juncture in your life, looking to decide whether to go all-in with Jesus or to continue with the status quo, we urge you to accept Jesus’ invitation into His life. Yes, it will cost you everything. But what a bargain that will be!
For those who are just starting out in following Jesus, we’ve found the simple way of life we introduced at the beginning of Day 1—Infinitum (Latin for ‘boundless’, alluding to the boundless life of Jesus)—is an excellent scaffolding around this ‘new creation’ that God is crafting in us. You might want to try it out.