One day Jesus borrowed Peter’s boat so more people could crowd around him on the beach while he preached.
It was a gooder.
After blowing Peter’s mind with a stupid-awesome catch of fish that made absolutely no sense on a human level, Jesus made his three dimensional (3D) invitation.
It still stands today, for us:
“Come, follow me—and I will make you a fisher of men” (Mark 1:17).
Come, follow me.
I will make you.
Fishers of men.
Let’s unpack the first dimension.
Come, follow me.
Jesus was saying, “Come hang out with me and learn from me.” Be with me. That’s the first and most important part of the call. “Just be with me.”
So are we?
Jesus unpacks this connection in the New Testament in John chapter 15, where he compares our relationship to him to a branch on a vine. Here he says, like a branch is connected to a vine and draws it’s life from the vine, “Abide in me.” But then he also says, “and I will abide in you.”
Abide isn’t a particularly ‘cool’ English word, but it should be. Check this out (from my study Bible):
Abide means “To reside, settle down to live. Frequently the word suggests more than the presence or existence of the subject, but also the establishment of a connection between himself and the site. One personally attaches himself to a locale designating it as his place of residence and accommodates the environment and territory to himself…to exert strong influence somewhere, be dominant, make the center or principal site of one’s activity.”
Yeah, that. I want that abiding thing with Jesus. How about you?
Abiding in Christ begins with our relationship with him—listening, loving, trusting, obeying—but that’s only one third (one dimension) of what it means to abide in Christ.
2D: Abiding in Christ’s Body
The church is Christ’s body (Colossians 1:24) so abiding in Christ also means living in authentic community with other believers. If you want more of Jesus, you’ll have to let him connect with you through other people who know him. If you’re not invested in real Christ-centred community, you can’t know Jesus very well.
Read the ‘abide’ definition again. Are you abiding in Christ’s body?
3D: Abiding in the world
And God sent Jesus to the world, so abiding in Christ also means living fully invested in the lostness all around us. I think Jesus might just tack a note on the front door of our churches that reads, “If you need me, I’ll be at the pub.” Or the kid’s soccer game. Or the town hall meeting, or wherever lost people hang out. Jesus himself, put it this way: “Where I am, there my servant will also be” (John 12:26).
If we’re not invested in real life sacrifice in the world around us, we can’t know Jesus very well. Read the ‘abide’ definition again. Are you truly abiding in the world Jesus loves enough to die for?
The bottom line
If we’re investing in our relationship with Jesus, investing in his body, and investing in the lost people he came to save, we’re following him. But if:
- We’re kinda coasting through life, not attending to our relationship with Jesus
- Not making Christ-centred community a core commitment in our lives
- Not living heavily invested in the world he came to save…
Question: Have you ever considered that two-thirds of abiding in Christ is defined by your relationships with other believers and people who don’t know Jesus yet?