The Christian faith is not only something for your brain. It’s something that has to do with every aspect of everyday life. Many times Jesus asked people to follow him. It will not be easy, he often pointed out. He described it as ‘take up your cross and follow me’. But also he promised he will be there so you are not alone in the dark.
So, how do you become a follower of Jesus? Well, by following Jesus. We know a lot about the message and life of Jesus through the stories we know from the Bible.
Even when you’re not that familiar with these ancient stories, you probably will recognize the basic message Jesus lived and preached. It all circles around these beautiful simple words, words like love, forgiveness, humility, hospitality, justice, and thankfulness. The amazing thing is that these words are quite easy to understand but very hard to follow in your daily life. Love, it’s an easy word we use maybe too often, but try to follow Jesus in how he loved: in the end, it was fatal and he was brutally murdered because he was loving and because he was different.
Following Jesus is not set up for a simple life. But it’s an invitation to live differently and to see differently.
Joy and tears
There’s a story about two Greek philosophers. The one steps out of his house in the morning and starts laughing and laughing because the world is just a comical place. The other stepped out of his house and starts crying passionately because the world is full of sorrow and tragedy. That is how the world is: comical and you can laugh about it, but at the same time, there are tears to shed. That’s life, right?
Exactly this was the life of Jesus. In the stories about him, there are tears and there is joy.
Something brand new
Jesus did not make fun of the world, but he was joyful because something brand new was starting! He called it the Kingdom, a new reality. And Jesus did not cry because everything was lost. He suffered together with the world he loved dearly, he suffered because of the pain, the injustice humankind is experiencing.
The followers of Jesus believed that in his tears and his suffering Jesus took the tears and the pain of the world, making them his own tears and his own pain.
Christians believe Jesus died but that he also rose from the dead. Here, in this mystery of the brutal death of Jesus and his resurrection, the new world is born, full of hope that everything will be made right.
God loves everyone
The Christian faith circles around the Jesus story. In Jesus, we see a glimpse of the amazing love God has for the world. God loves everyone and longs that everyone knows his love and answers that love. This love transforms everything. It heals our inner wounds. It helps us restore what is broken. It is the light in the darkness we need. And the hope that evil will not reign forever. Evil is defeated because of Jesus' amazing sacrifice.
Do you want to follow Jesus? Just start by following his life and example and hope for the new world Jesus showed us already.