Voices bombard us, each insisting on us following their lead. They make promises. Health, wealth, well-being, success, enjoyment, belonging, significance, healing of the psyche, healing of the soul are included in the long list of "Follow me and see what good will come into your life!"

But then there is that still, sometimes small voice, heard in spite of the din of the world: "...follow me..." (John 12:26).

Following Jesus was about to get extremely difficult. This particular "follow me" was spoken on the eve of the last supper that Jesus would enjoy with His disciples. His arrest, trial and death would severely test the loyalty, the faith, of His followers. He didn't even give them the consolation of a reference to His resurrection.

"'The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me...Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.' He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die" (John 12:23-36, 31-33).

This would require a true leap of faith on the part of the disciples.

Instinct says "run" while Jesus says "stay." And for a little while they followed their instincts.

We are asked to make the same decision. Will we follow Him even when the leap seems to be into empty space? No cushion of health, wealth, well-being, success, enjoyment, belonging, significance, healing of the psyche or healing of the soul, is promised. The loss of all or any of these is what He means by losing one's life. This is not to say that we will not enjoy any or all of these things in this life—just that they are not what directs our focus in life and their loss or gain makes little difference. The voices of the world would lead us away from the voice of the Master.

But what's to be gained?

Just the promise of being a faithful servant of the Lord, the loss of what is temporary for the glory of what is permanent, and the honor of the Father.

That's a huge "just."

"Follow me" is enormous. It is, in its purest form, the supreme test of faith. But for the one who wants to serve the Lord, when He says "jump" our response is not even "how high?" It is simply to jump and let Him determine the heights, or the depths, of the jump.


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