The Bible confronts us with two ways. A choice. Not where you’re going to live, not what career you’re going to pursue, not who you’re going to marry, nor where you’re going to lunch. The choice we have certainly encompasses and impacts all those other decisions you make. But there’s only one choice in Scripture: the way of life or the way of death, the way of blessing or the way of curse, the way of God or the way of the world.
Jesus says, “I am the Way.” I am the Way you get to God and I am the Way God comes to you. I am the Way.
So we choose Jesus. We choose the Way of life, the way of blessing, and the way of God when we choose Jesus. And when we choose Jesus as the Way, when we choose the way of Jesus, what is it exactly that we’ve chosen? When we choose Jesus, what are we signing up for?
The very first recorded words of Jesus are in Mark 1. If Mark is the earliest of the four Gospels – almost everyone concludes it is – these are the earliest and first words of our Lord we have recorded and preserved. A radical inaugural announcement and then three commands.
“The time has come! The Kingdom of God is near! Repent and believe the Good News! Come, follow me!” ~Mark 1:15-17
A dramatic declaration. The Kingdom of God is near. Right now. Present tense. And then three primary commands. Three imperatives. These come first.
Repent: Leave your current way of life and start out on another way. Repent means to change your mind and heart. It’s a reverse-course. A change of direction.
Believe: See it. Experience it. Get into it. Live into a personal, relational, trusting involvement in the realities of the Kingdom of God.
Follow me: Live your life obediently in a way that matches up with the lordship of Jesus. What you do and why you do it and the way you do it – all of that submitted to Jesus. Follow me. It’s a direct command.
This isn’t a signup sheet like for small groups leaders or the women’s retreat. Jesus isn’t posting office hours so he can discuss the Kingdom with you if you’re interested. He commands it. “You! Follow me!”
You sitting in a church building on Sunday doesn’t make you a disciple anymore than sitting in a chicken coop makes you a chicken. You’ve got to get behind Jesus and follow him in his way. As a church, maintaining a status quo is not the same thing as following Jesus. Being a member in good standing or being a good middle-of-the-road church is not the same as following Jesus. Being a disciple means we make the call to give it all for the sake of others. We choose to lose our rights and refuse to use our might for the sake of his great name. We obey and we do things his way. The Jesus Way.