Tag Archives: Following Jesus

The Golden Rule

We live in a world which is becoming more and more selfish by the day. Whatever happened to others we want our convenience. At the expense of others we want to progress. We are willing to forego principles for profit. We go for short cuts even though we know it is wrong. We try to explain away our wrong doings saying everybody does that today, or, the system is like that and we cannot escape it.

Are we becoming more and more self-centred? We expect others to respect us when we don’t show any respect to others. We want everyone to listen to us when we are not willing to listen to anyone. We want to be served first in the queue though we know we are not first. We want the best part of everything when we are not willing to let others have their choice. We don’t want to give way to other traffic when we expect everyone else to give us way.

Jesus said, “Do for others what you want them to do for you….” (Mat.7:12 GNT) If you want others to respect you, learn to respect others. If you want others to be kind to you, learn to be kind to others. If you want others to listen to you, learn to listen to others. If you want your neighbours to be good to you, then learn to be a good neighbour to them. In essence, we are to develop the character quality of our Master Lord Jesus Christ. This we ought to do in spite of how others behave. Let our words and deeds prove that we treat others the way we want them to treat us.

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Encountering the Savior

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Mt. 14:22-36)

After feeding a crowd of more than 5000, Jesus sent His disciples away in a boat to the other side while He went up the mountain to commune with the Father. This intimate communion with the Father was an integral part of His life and ministry on the earth. This kept Jesus focused on His mission.

Casual following
It was obvious that quite a good portion of the crowd followed Him for the fringe benefits of food and healing. Some followed for the fun of watching the miracles. It took time for the truth to sink into many minds as to who they were following.

Jesus prayed all night through and came to the disciples some time between 3.00 and 6.00 am., that too walking through the waves that were rocking their boat. The disciples felt they were going to confront some ghost and were alarmed. Then Jesus reveals His identity and comforts them. Disciples were still in the process of their encounter with their Savior.

Result of an encounter
Peter the smart had a bright idea. He wanted to experience the thrill of walking on water. So he asks the Lord to command that wish into effect. The Lord does not mind our childish adventures and He orders. Peter walked up to Jesus on the water looking at Him alone. When he felt confident of himself he looked around and saw the waves. “When he saw the wind” he realized that he was surrounded by the deep waters. His focus shifted for a little while from the Master and he started sinking. The Lord had to lift him up by the hand. They got into the boat and the wind stopped. The disciples were watching all this in amazement. They had to rewrite their impression of Jesus in their own minds at that moment. And the result! They recognized who Jesus really is and responded to His Majesty.

Only a true encounter with Jesus, through His Word the Bible, can open the eyes of people and enable them to recognize who He really is. Until then people will casually follow Him and later disown Him for their own doom. A true and honest encounter with Jesus will compel anyone to worship Him, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

God who relates personally

Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. Jesus sent him away, saying, “Don’t go back into the village on your way home.”
(Mark 8:25-26  NLT)

Faith Building Exercise
Some people brought a blind man to Jesus because they had heard about His power to heal and restore. They would have brought him with a genuine concern, having faith in Jesus. Or they would have done it to test Jesus. But Jesus do not go by what others say or do. He helps in strengthening the faith of those who are sincere. He interacts individually and relates personally to those who genuinely seek Him. So He takes the blind man by his hand and leads him out of the village, away from the crowd and does this faith building exercise. Jesus is asking the man whether he could see anything. Initially the man gets a partial vision and could not distinguish trees from people. This propelled his faith in Jesus. Jesus lays His hands on the man again and restores his sight fully. He was advised not to go back to the old company of people, in stead to his home.

There are times and situations when we are thrust into the presence of God. God uses such situations to build our faith in Him, step by step. He is a loving God who meets with us individually, leads us away from faith-destroying company or circumstances, and interacts personally to strengthen our faith. He will remove our blindness, rectify the partial vision and restore clear vision. Thank God for such occasions. 

Focus Losing Utterances

Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.” But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead. As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
(Mark 8:29-33 NLT)

Peter was outspoken and impulsive on many issues. This could prove dangerous at times. With the same mouth we utter things that show our conviction as well as prove our being out of focus. Peter was rebuked for not catching God’s vision.

Those who have been given sight can loose their vision of God’s kingdom and behave like the faithless blind. Then God will rebuke us and correct us so that we remain focused on our mission. Thank God for such occasions in our lives.

Faith Testing Occupation
We are called to follow Jesus Christ. He made claims that no man could ever make, but He never gave false promises to His followers. He openly told that the path will be tough and demanding, even costing our very life. However, He assured us that a life sacrificed for His sake is more precious than the whole world. He will be proud to announce in the glorious presence of the Father that they are His own.