1 Peter 1:10-16
Leaving and Following Jesus
Peter began to say to Jesus, “We have given up everything and followed you.” Peter gives all of us a good outline on discipleship with Jesus by using the two important words of leaving all and following Jesus.
First we must leave all in the sense that we must trim away anything that detracts away from being a productive member of Christ’s body. My father had over 100 rose bushes in his yard. To keep them in constant bloom I had to help him cut away branches at five leaf connections so the plant could produce more buds rather than more leaves! Jesus talks about this.
“Prune away the shoots, for they do not belong to the Lord” Jeremiah 5:10
1. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes a so that it will be even more fruitful. 3. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” John 15
Secondly Peter speaks about following Jesus. The Scripture speaks 76 times of following Jesus. The word in Greek for follow is akoloutheo which means on the road. It has different nuances. “To walk the same road”; “On road with Jesus”. Discipleship means accompanying Jesus on a journey. We must keep moving but never out of sight of Jesus! It is the simple wisdom of the Gospel to cleave to Christ for light, warmth, and healing.
The Detroit zoo has a wonderful exhibit for Snow Monkeys. They always follow another Snow Monkey! They keep going around a hill in a circle getting nowhere! Jesus is “the Way”
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.