24. Tagging along with Jesus

‘Appreciation’ Meditations No.24: Tagging along with Jesus

Mt 4:19 Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will…..”

In this present context of considering the goodness of God, I need to take up back to something I wrote a couple of months ago: “New 2022 slogan: Tag along with Jesus and be changed.” For some days we have been pondering on the fact of God initiating goodness in our lives and I feel I have to try to drive home the point I started yesterday, that our receiving and experiencing the goodness of God is always initiated by him. Yesterday I finished with thinking about the disciples being invited to follow Jesus that resulted in them experiencing close up the most incredible, miraculous series of events that have ever been packed into three years of church history, no, of the history of the world.

The ‘tag along’ idea may come when a group of older kids allow a younger brother or sisters to ‘tag along with us’. Dictionaries tend to add “when you’ve not been asked” but that isn’t true in our present context which is the vastly greater ‘older brother’ inviting us ‘younger kids’ to tag along. He’s the initiator of whatever ‘games’ we’re going to play but – and this is the important thing – they all will express the goodness of God! When Jesus is, and this is so vitally important and not understood by many – and it is so obvious – it is he who is leading us. I’ve commented before on my appreciation of how, in the second series of ‘The Chosen’ the disciples are seen to be those trying to organise Jesus, and I think it is clear in the Gospels that Peter did that, and so did James and John whenever they made bright (but wrong) suggestions.

We are talking about the incarnate, living Son of God here, the expression of God in the flesh. He ‘knew all men’, he knew what was going on around him, he knew the plan of God for his life and death, and he knew the timing of this. Every now and then he takes a diversion up country or over to trans-Jordan, to meet with specific individuals, all we understand inspired by the Spirit and as the Father led.

If his life had been a boat at sea, you wouldn’t need to tell him how to sail it or where to go. Our role on such a boat would be more like us being a new cabin boy and him being the mature captain. It would be daft for us to tell him how to sail the ship or suggest good places to go – he’s the captain for goodness sake! So why do we do it in daily life, think we know better at what will be good for us, what would be a good way to lead the church, a good way to reach out to others?  When will we wake up and realise we’re just ‘tagging along with Jesus’ as he does the stuff, as he determines where to go next, what to do and focus on next? Our role is just to tag along behind him and take on whatever tasks he gives us, go where he leads, talk to those he puts there. Are we starting to get it?

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