||40days|| week five: follow the Leader

Leadership is a hot topic these days. Go into any bookstores and you will find hundreds of books on leadership. Being a leader is different depending on the setting. It is one thing to lead a race with many in pursuit of you but it is another thing to lead a team where you facilitate others working together toward a goal.

Unfortunately, what is often neglected in the discussions of leadership is the secondary concept of being a follower. Even to read ‘being a follower’ may conjure up negative ideas in our minds. But as we continue our ||40days|| journey, our interaction with Jesus must move from being our own leader to letting Him lead us, from trying to lead everything to learning to be His follower.

When Jesus began His public ministry, we read of John the Baptist identifying Him as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Time again and again, we encounter John directing people’s attention to Jesus in this way.

It is only natural that eventually even some of John’s followers wanted to find out more about Jesus. So, we read in John 1 that “two disciples heard [John] say this, and they followed Jesus” (1:37). Seeing these two following Him, Jesus asks one of His more penetrating questions of these two: “What do you want?” (1:38).

‘What do you want?’ Good question. Jesus was getting beneath the surface actions and attitudes to probe into their deepest desires that gave birth to their pursuit of Jesus. ‘What do you want?’ It’s a question that we would do well to consider in our own pursuit of Jesus. What are we really seeking and hoping to find in Him? Why are we really coming to Him?

The two disciples say that they want to know where Jesus is staying, and they call Him ‘Rabbi’, which means teacher. What they are really saying is they want to know what Jesus is all about, but at the same time they can recognize He has authority and insight. They would like to discover more about Him and His way of life.

Jesus does not answer by offering a speech about where He is staying or outlining His nine practices of life with God. No, He does something that is both quite normal and yet monumental. He says, “Come and you will see” (1:39). He invites them into a way where He will lead and they will follow. He tells them that they will discover who He is and what His way of life is all about best when the follow Him around.

It might be easy for us to wonder what it really means to follow Jesus today since we cannot physically follow Him like these two disciples. But His call is somewhat similar today: ‘come and you will see.’ We must enter into a lifestyle where Jesus is the leader and we are the follower. We must enter into a community with Him and others where He has the foremost place and we are willing to discover Him and be changed daily into His way of life.

Today, draw near to Jesus. Come and see who He is and His way of life. Commit or recommit to following Him as the leader of your life.

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