Jesus said ‘Follow Me’. What does it mean to live like Jesus? Is it still possible in the 21st century?
It’s easy to get caught up in side issues and distractions and end up drifting away from what needs to be our main focus. My hope is to point people to Jesus. My aim in this series is to realign our lives with ‘the main thing’.
We can model our lives on other people – our friends/family, those we look up to, public figures/speakers, even pastors – but we all have human failings and can let each other down. The One we all need to follow is Jesus – and He has left ‘footprints in the sand’ for us to follow. This doesn’t mean we all end up becoming uniform ‘clones’ – in fact if, as a church community, we stay unified by collectively focussing on Jesus, it allows for great diversity of expression of our beliefs.
In this series we look at the entire Gospel of John (I recommend reading it through) from 3 main areas:
- Critical moments in Jesus’ life
- Central themes from His life
- Crucial conversations He had with various people
John wrote fifty chapters of the New Testament – a Gospel, three letters, and the Book of Revelation. His Gospel is the one most frequently used for evangelism and it is often recommended as a starting point for new Christians.
John writes from first-hand experience. He witnessed Jesus’ ministry, death and even examined the empty tomb. He was the only disciple who wasn’t martyred, living to an old age. His gospel was written some forty years after the crucifixion – time enough to reconsider and reassess all he had witnessed and experienced.
John was a colourful character: a fisherman, a tradesman with no formal education. He displays a somewhat explosive nature which earned him the nickname ‘Son of Thunder’.
John also calls himself ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’ – not so much implying that Jesus didn’t love others just as much, but rather describing the specific personal love and care John (with all his personal flaws and idiosyncrasies) felt he received from Jesus.
Our key verse is John 1:14, which denotes a new beginning and sets up a framework for the rest of the Gospel:
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
Out of concern for her young son who was missing his father, a mother gave her little boy a photo to comfort him. The child’s response: “If only Daddy could step out of the photo!” Our heavenly Father did just that for us, a little over two thousand years ago, when Jesus came to live and walk amongst us.