February 7, sometime in the wee hours of the morning – Minneapolis, MN
I am awake. (Again. Sigh.) At least I am slightly groggy and my throat only hurts miserably when I swallow. I was trying to go back to sleep when I decided to journal instead.
I was thinking of the disciples and how they must have felt partway through Jesus’ ministry. At year two, they couldn’t have understood what everything meant. They probably still wondered who this Man really was that they were so drawn to follow. Had they made the right decision in leaving their nets or their post to follow Him?
I imagine they might have said…
It had been a crazy experience so far being with Jesus. He was incredible and did amazing things, said wonderful words, showed such acts of compassion and love. But…
He was also confusing at times. Sometimes His words made no sense. Other times it seemed like He was ready to establish His kingdom for Israel and revolutionize our Roman-occupied world, but then He’d do something puzzling, like say something creepy about dying or eating His flesh and most of the crowds would go away. I don’t understand this Jesus, this Jesus who would welcome sinners and lepers and children, who would talk to the despised, the lonely, to women! And would rebuke the Pharisees and Sadducees, yet never overthrow them.
And why pick us? What were we going to do? Why single us out among the crowd? Why ask us, no, tell us “Follow Me” that day?
What had we given up that day when said “yes” to that invitation? We miss our towns, our villages. I miss my family and friends… most of them don’t understand me anymore. I sometimes wish I could just come home and sit beside the waters of the lake like I used to and just watch the sunset colors play over the shoreline. I miss my normal. I miss going to the market and seeing the baker and his family. I miss hearing the familiar bleat of sheep near the country side. I long for a freshly caught supper brought home to a proud, bustling family at home and jokes around the fire. I miss home. I haven’t really been home in years…
Where is this Man taking us? At some points, it seems He will be the certain death of me. But where else could I go? I know He’s the only One with such words – words that ring true with such startling clarity, words that stir hope and fire and life deep within me, words that make me believe that God has more for me than I thought possible. And it’s not just His words – it’s Him!
I’ve never had someone befriend me like He has before. I’ve never seen such genuine love and joy and fire from someone so young. His eyes are so pure and His friendship so inviting, welcoming me into closer relationship, beckoning me out on waters I’ve never known, a version of me I never realized could be. I don’t always understand Him, but I’ve grown to love Him, like a dear brother but more than that, like a dear friend but truer than that, like a good man but deeper than that…
I’ve come closer and am seeing God. Not just talked about by Him, but embodied through Him.
It’s God Who has come near in Jesus, and it’s why I am certain He is the Messiah. After all, who could do anything near what He’s done? He’s opened blind eyes, healed the lame and diseased, restored lepers to wholeness, and calmed the waters of stormy seas.
Who is like this Man? This God?
Where else could we find anyone like Him?
He is certainly the One to follow though He scares me at times with His unpredictability. Just when I think I understand Him, He does something completely different…
Oh, and when He chides us all for our little faith — I know He’s right, but I don’t know how else to be. Can’t He see that I’m am trying? I want so desperately to believe, but sometimes it isn’t always easy. And then, He’ll do some crazy miracle or speak to something deep in my heart no one could know, and I begin to marvel at my own disbelief and His own pure goodness and power.
He is the Son of God, indeed.
What does it mean?
All I know is that He’s too big for my mind to contain. I’ve seen enough, heard enough, experienced enough to know that He is the One we’ve been looking for, the One I’ve been waiting for to come and save us. And I love Him so dearly, with a pure love that is changing me…
Sometimes I don’t even recognize myself, but I sense that is good. I don’t know how, but just being with Him is changing me. Sure, I still see the old me a lot of the time, but I am different somehow…
I’m not sure where we’re headed next. could be back to Galilee or Jerusalem or somewhere completely different. I didn’t expect to go back to the Decapolis, but we did that. I wonder if we’ll ever stay in one place and gather more disciples. It would be neat to see Jesus start a school of some sort to train more people. But after 2 years with this guy, I have a feeling He has other plans in mind.
Well, wherever we head next or if we stay here a few more days, I’ve already decided to follow Him. I’m in too deep. What would I do now?
I couldn’t possibly go back to fishing.
After everything we’ve done with Jesus?!
So I guess we just keep going, keep following Him wherever He says we’re going. Stay wherever it is He says we’re staying, resting whenever He tells us it’s time to rest, and working when He says it’s time to work.
Someday, this will all make sense…
I wonder how many years from now?
Maybe soon Jesus will usher in His Kingdom. What a day that will be!
Until then, here’s to the end of another week of following Jesus. I’m sure curious what year 4 and 5 and 6 will bring.