As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. (Mark 2:14)
As we read the stories about Jesus in the Bible, it’s easy to see how the first disciples followed Jesus. They just left what they were doing and walked behind (and with) him!
But how can we “follow Jesus” today? That’s a bit more challenging, and perhaps troubling. How can we “follow” Jesus, when he has ascended to his throne in heaven? It may not be easy to do what the first disciples did, but it at least would be a lot more obvious – or so we are tempted to think.
There is a common denominator between Levi’s following Jesus and our following Jesus today. It’s trust. Levi had to exercise trust to follow Jesus, and so do we. In fact, following Jesus is trusting Jesus! And Jesus, above all, wants you to fully trust him. Do you fully trust Jesus? Here are some critical truths about trust.
- “I will only let you love me to the degree that I trust you; no matter how much love you have for me.” While Jesus loves you unreservedly, you can only experience his love to the degree that you trust him. In other words, we’ve got to let go of the control of our relationship with Jesus, and abandon everything to him, like Levi. Trust is an everyday choice and the Holy Spirit wants to break down all of our walls of distrust. Where are you controlled by fear? Where are you enslaved by your own selfish desires?
- “Truth only transforms when it’s trusted.” As disciples, we crave the kind of character and joy that Jesus promises. But that only happens when we trust his Word and do it. The command to love one another bears fruit to the degree that we trust Jesus and one another. A ripe harvest of joy will be reaped when we spend both quality and quantity time, when we exercise compassion, honesty, and respect. Trust requires the willingness to be vulnerable and risk being disappointed.
- “Coming into your calling happens when you come out of your comfort zone.” Our longing for purpose and meaning is realized to the degree that we are willing to risk comfort and security. The impact of Jesus’ disciples on the world multiplied exponentially when they embrace their identity and acted in faith and love.
People of talent are admired, people of wealth are envied, and people of power are feared. But only people of character are trusted. And who is of greater character than Christ?
Following Jesus with you,