Jesus’s disciples very soon discovered how uncomfortable and even dangerous can it be to walk with him. Jesus is asking frightening questions and proposes embarrassing challenges. Like he did at the Feeding the Five Thousand: “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat? He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.” John 6:5b-6
Jesus is not asking questions because he doesn’t know the answer.
Jesus, by asking this question is identifying a need and pointing us to a problem (no food). He is not asking a question because he is looking for a solution. He already knew the solution. He is asking a question to point us to a need which will forces us to our knees and to obedience. Jesus’s questions (“where, how, who, with what”) are revealing our limitations. Walking with Jesus – very soon – will face you with your own limitations.
The task given by Jesus will be done by Jesus – “he knew what he would do”.
He is not asking us to do what only he can do, but he is asking us to be willing to be used in what he is doing. He involves us in his work NOT because he can’t do it alone. Him involving us doesn’t say anything about his limited power, but tells everything about his limitless love. He doesn’t involve us because he lacks power, capacity, ability, or that something is out of his control, or that something surprised him, interrupted his plan, etc. He involves us, because he loves us so much that He wants us to experience and know Him (Is 45:2-3).
The work done through us is also for us.
The miracle of the feeding of the 5000 was not just about providing bread, but about testing his disciples. The impossible situations and commands that Jesus brings in our lives is at least as much about revealing truths about us as it is about fulfilling the needs of those we serve. A danger in walking with Jesus and doing his work is that we will discover things about ourselves we will not like – he will tests us. Sometimes we fail His testing.
Another danger of walking with Jesus is that we will constantly be surprised with unexpected, unpredictable and impossible commands, challenges, situations and changes. Very few things will go as we’ve planned or desired.
Jesus working through us means that he will always puts us into impossible, frightening, scary, unplanned, challenging situations – just like he has surprised the disciples with this impossible command to feed thousands of people with nothing. The danger of walking with Jesus is that your life and ministry will not be as you planned. When you’ve decided to follow Him, you decided to give up control. Walking with Jesus means that we are walking with someone who is in the business of doing the impossible, whom we can’t control, who will shock us, surprises us, will bring unexpected challenges and changes into our lives. Walking with Jesus was never meant to be an easy, calculable, predictable, comfortable journey. He will bring curves, surprises on the road, but the road eventually will lead to His home. Too many people, including missionaries, pastors or ministries follow Jesus because they think they’ll get an aid for their plans instead of being an aid for His plans.
Jesus knows what he wants to do in our life and ministry. When we are facing a question he already has the answer and he knows what he is going to do. Jesus will do what his plan is for our life and ministry. Jesus is working in us and testing us while he is working through us. Jesus involves us, but not without allowing us to face with unexpected, impossible, outrageous commands and tasks.
He wants us to face with our limitations and his limitless power.
One thought on “The Danger of Walking with Jesus”
Thank you for these insights, Gabor. This morning, my small group was wrestling with understanding “take up your cross” and “My burden is light.” I will forward your post to the rest of the group.