I have these weird revelations (or they may just be random thoughts but revelations sounds cooler), where the light bulb goes on and a deep thought arises.
Yesterday was one of those days, and when reading through Matthew 3 the light bulb began to burn a little brighter.
Ever heard of Wordle? Did you ever wonder why the heck it even became a thing?
I was sitting in IN-n-Out with some friends last night, and we were all huddled around one phone, watching a guy try to figure out a five letter word for almost 10 minutes.
And it was entertaining, don’t let me fool you. I loved every minute of it. I was captivated by those five letters.
He figures it out, we laugh about it, we go home.
Then this morning I open my bible to read Matthew 3.
Matthew 3 is where John the Baptist is introduced; he is pointing people towards the better Prophet, the Messiah who is to come. He baptizes Jesus (which side note- brought me to tears because how sweet and kind is Jesus to let the man who was preparing His way to cleanse Him and open the clouds of heaven?) Any-who.
Then Jesus goes to the desert (chapter 4), is tempted for 40 days, is then served by angels after his 40 days (random detail but is the COOLEST thing to me), then He starts his journey of teaching, preaching and healing.
It says in verse 17, “From there then on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, because the kingdom of heaves has come near!'”
And then people started following Him around.
He started saying things that were interesting. He started sparking people’s interests. He started His life fulfilling prophesies, and He continued to do so at every turn.
So people followed.
Gosh we are so like those people.
Something, someone, sparks our attention and we are hooked. Whether it is a five letter word or it’s a new trend, a new type of look, a cutsie graphic- we see it, we want it, we go after it.
And what is crazy, is most the stuff we latch onto these days we only notice because others shared it. We only follow because others are doing the same. But the problem is, we latch on, we get hyped, we log on, we share, but then somewhere along the line we move on.
From Hydroflasks to Stanley Cups. From High-Top Converse to High-Top Nikes. From jean jackets to leather ones.
NONE of that stuff is bad, hear me out. But all of it started with a follow. We grabbed that thing off the shelf, we shared that idea, we bought that course because someone else shared it, because someone else started the trend.
Now- try to follow me here. The people in Matthew 4 and all the way through the Gospels did the same thing with Jesus.
They heard His teachings, their interests were peaked. They saw others follow along, so they went too. Others saw people following Him so they thought, why not me too?
But what made them stay? What made them stick with the Hydroflask when the Stanley Cups came along? What made them continue to lace up their Converse instead of hitching a ride on the Nike train?
Well, if you know the Gospels, you know most people who followed Jesus didn’t stick with Him. But a few did. And then those few started the Church. And wrote all the letters in the New Testament. And ultimately shared Christ with you and me because of one thing.
Truth. Freedom. Grace. Love.
Well that is more than one thing but whats so cool is that alllll those things are in One Person.
I never stuck with Wordle. I never caught on to the Nike trend but you bet your butt I wanted to (the bank account just didn’t agree with me). I tricked my mom into buying me a Hydroflask then the Stanley Cups became a hit and once again the bank won’t lend me all the money to keep up with these trends.
My point is this: we were created to follow. And in following, we were created to praise and worship and bow down to something. The people in the bible are proof of this truth, and we, all of us, to this day, fall right in line with them, too.
Jesus had people follow Him because there was something different about Him. We gravitate to new trends, new things, new people because there is something different about each of them. Each of those “things” promise us something, but ultimately they let us down and we turn to something else that promises the same things but “better.” And then the cycle continues.
But people stuck with Jesus because He promised a bunch of things and He delivered. He may not have delivered in the ways the people wanted, but He sure as heck delivered in the way they needed.
Jesus preached, He promised, and He fulfilled. He promised strength, grace, love and joy, and every day I open the Word and there it is, loud and clear, a promise fulfilled. He promised deliverance, eternity, and hope. And He did that on the cross and out of the grave.
So now it’s our choice to follow and keep following. And to keep following even when not everyone else is doing it.
It is our choice to see Jesus on the shore and hear His words and be intrigued, to be fascinated, and to believe Him in what He says.
And every day I am just trying to follow and produce the fruit of repentance because Jesus is the only thing that I will continue to choose and follow and serve- because He will never let me down.
See you soon,