Imagine if you were alive 2000 years ago, in Jesus' time, in Israel. Imagine God chose that life for you instead of living in 2021, but imagine still knowing all that you know now. What would you do, how would you live?
Would you join Jesus as a disciple? Would you seek Him all over Israel until you found Him, so you could be with Him?
Maybe you would go find John the Baptist and wait eagerly for Him to come?
Would you follow Jesus wherever He goes? (Matt 4:19-20)
Would you be the one disciple full of faith who humbly listened and accepted and did whatever He says, without objecting - every single little word? (Matt 16:21-23, John 6:68)
If He wakes up early and goes out of the house to be alone with the Father for a little time before everyone else gets up, would you wake up too? (Mark 1:35, Matthew 13:1)
If Jesus was washing dishes and cleaning the toilet in His home would you join Him?
If Jesus skipped a meal for the sake of fasting, would you also skip a meal even if it meant being hungry? (John 4:8, 32)
When food was low, would you be the one who encouraged the other disciples that Jesus would do something to provide?
Would you be the one in the boat during the storm who didn't panic with worry because Jesus is there? (Mark 4:37-38)
Would you serve Him and wash His feet? Would you bend down and join with Him, with a towel of your own to join Him when He washed the feet of the other disciples? (John 13:14)
When Jesus tells little children to come and spent time with them instead of pushing them away, would you also take time with them, even if it meant interrupting your own adult plans? (Matthew 19:14)
Would you stay up late with Him praying in Gethsemane, even when you're tired? (Matt 26:40-41)
Would you be willingly taken with Him from Gethsemane to stand trial even if it meant your death?
Would you contently receive accusations of lies and blame, while remaining quiet? (Mark 14:61)
Would you remain a humble servant, not like Peter so confident and outspoken but quiet until He gives you direction - like the angels do? (Rev 7:11)
Would you help bear the load of the cross with Him as He went to Calvary? (Matt 16:24, Matt 11:29)
Would you after He died, unlike Thomas, be full of faith, eagerly waiting outside of the tomb for 3 days until He comes out? (John 20:27)
Would you leave everything to follow Jesus, surrendering all ambition for this life, forsaking your possessions, yourself and even your own family for the sake of doing whatever Jesus wants you to do? (Luke 14:26-33)
Would you count your whole life as loss for the sake of being a disciple who has no other purpose than to love and be with and obey Jesus? (Php 3:8)
The most stirring thing about these questions when I recognize this: I can do all of this TODAY, if I love Jesus. (2 Cor 6:2). I don't need to go back in time 2000 years to love Jesus and walk with Him and live for Him, that isn't such a glamorous thing like it sounds. Because I can follow Jesus TODAY in whatever life I'm in this very day.
I can forsake all for Jesus.
I can wait for Him to come when I don’t know where He is, I can seek His presence until I find Him.
I can follow Him wherever He goes.
I can obey every little word He speaks to me, to not sin.
I can remain quiet about my own will until He guides me.
I can be full of faith and free from panic and anxiousness because the Lord is with me.
I can follow this Spirit’s whispers and leadings - to go or not go, to eat or not eat, to stop what I’m doing and do something else, or focus on something specific.
I can walk with Him with no fear of men even if it means danger to myself.
I can stay up praying with Him if He’s also up with a burden, I can get up early with Him to have time alone with the Father.
I can bend down with Him to wash the feet of the disciples when He’s doing the same.
I can receive a strike on the face with Him while remaining quiet.
I can carry my cross which was really His cross first.
It's very easy to imagine that if we lived in Jesus' time, we would be "all in", that we would be the one disciple who was full of faith and didn't doubt, wouldn't disobey, never left Jesus' side. But if I look at how I live today, that gives me a real perspective on just how "all in" I would be - the proof that I would be a disciple like that and humbly serve and love Him even to death if I was alive 2000 years ago is that I am a disciple TODAY, and humbly serve and love Him TODAY with all my heart, and put myself to death on the cross everyday, counting all else as loss and Him as everything. This has been challenging for me and helped me see what a privilege it is to be walking with Jesus today.
It’s very rare for Jesus to find obedient, quiet, humble, loving, devoted disciples who walk with Him like this. He didn't have any totally like that while He walked on the earth for a few years, but He has had many since then as the Holy Spirit has come to help now and give us the grace (God's power to do His will) to live such a life. And my ambition is to be one of them. I have faith that with the help of the Holy Spirit He can help me walk this type of life.