Jesus and Facebook

I will admit it.  Despite all the concerns about Facebook, I like its positive aspects. I enjoy keeping up with friends, family, and making new friends too.  It’s also fun to check in to my Facebook and see how many are “following” me. Since I am a writer, it is especially affirming! And I very much enjoy “following” others, their ministries, and organizations. I learn so much about so many topics.

 Facebook does not have anything on Jesus though. “Following” originated in the New Testament with two of the most significant life-changing, world-changing words in the bible, “FOLLOW ME.”

 In Matthew 4:19 as Jesus walked along the beautiful Sea of Galilee, He approached Peter and Andrew, fishermen busy at their hard work. They were unaware that their ordinary lives would change into the most extraordinary work in world history, ambassadors of the Good News. Jesus said, “Come, follow me and I will send you out to fish for people.”

Then in Luke 5:7 he met up with Levi (Matthew) the tax collector sitting in his ancient “IRS” booth where most others in the Jewish community despised him. Jesus invited Matthew saying, “Follow Me.”  Matthew was not the only one shocked at the invitation. He was also shocked that Jesus wanted to eat supper with him and other sinners. Matthew who once owed his allegiance to the Roman's oppressive tax system, shifted his allegiance to Jesus, also becoming an Ambassador of the Good News.

 Long before Facebook was even a thought-when I was a child, teenager, and into adulthood-I often sang an old favorite praise song, “I have Decided to Follow Jesus.”  The songwriter is often thought to be anonymous, but its title is a statement of joy for all of us who have met the Lord Jesus in a personal encounter. When I “decided to follow Jesus” at 17 years old, it was the best decision of my life. Like everyone I know, life’s challenges and sorrows didn’t disappear. Yet, because the Lord Jesus is magnificently worthy of following, His unwavering, unconditional faithfulness has repeatedly rescued me, making my life worthwhile and fulfilling. 

One of  the song’s verses reads, “The world behind me, the cross before me, The world behind me, the cross before me; The world behind me, the cross before me; No turning back, no turning back.

Watching our nation and world spinning around now in upheaval, I am often reminding myself to keep my eyes on the cross, on Jesus, with no turning back.  I hope my reminder to myself will encourage you too with Jesus’ simple, yet extraordinary words filled with promise, “FOLLOW ME.”  

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