BY: RUSSELL MCLAUGHLIN
FOLLOWING IN JESUS' STEPS
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. Luke 9:23
In earlier times, it was customary for the dad to hand down his pocket watch to his son in a symbolic gesture of handing down the family heritage to the next generation. The rite of the passing on of the watch symbolized the passing on of responsibilities to the next generation’s owner. Every time the new owner used or looked at the watch, he was reminded of the examples that his forefathers had been to him.
Man has always felt a need to follow others to learn. Man has always yearned to learn by having others to watch as an example. From the baby who is learning to take those first steps, to the boy who learning to swim. From girl learning a hit a softball, to the teenager learning to drive a car. People have always looked to learn from others.
Today people look to someone to show them the way to deal with life. Through God’s word we can be led by someone who walked on this earth and triumphantly dealt with life’s experiences. Paul says in Romans 8:32, “29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” God designed us to be like Jesus! By reading of Jesus’ life, we can know how to lead a fulfilling and successful life. Jesus not only invited man to follow in his steps, but he also commanded it. In John 12:26 Jesus says, “Whoever serves me must follow me.” Jesus was a servant and wants us to be servants too. Our Lord powerfully illustrates this in John 13 when he washes the disciple’s feet and calls them to do the same.
Once shortly after World War II, a bombed out English city began the long job of rebuilding. Dominating the city square was a statue representing Jesus, now broken and chipped. Before the war, his hands had been outspread inviting the world. On the pedestal were carved the words, “Come unto me.” Skilled artisans were able to repair the statue except for the hands, now shattered into scattered pieces. The statue is still there today, though without hands. The words on the pedestal have been changed. They now read: “Christ has no hands but ours.”
Christ is depending on those who follow him to serve for him. Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:40, “40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
When our time on earth is over, will our footprints leave a legacy that will lead others to serving as Jesus did? Remember, Jesus does not ask us to go anywhere he did not go. Jesus is counting on us to care and serve!