Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, ESV)
As Christians, we are supposed to follow Jesus in everything we do. Following Jesus is not about remaining in darkness but about having the light of life which is Jesus himself. The goal is always supposed to be Jesus. The goal is not about gaining heaven or avoiding hell. The goal is not about avoiding punishment’s nor is it about gaining rewards. Each of these is great but they are benefits given to us because we are following Jesus. They are not legitimate reasons for following Him.
As people, we are all people, we are tempted to hold up the blessings and benefits of following Jesus to convince people to follow Him. This happened even when Jesus walked this world. In John 6:25-29, the crowds are following Jesus looking for their next meal. They didn’t really believe in him nor did they want to follow him; they simply wanted the food. Jesus tells them that the goal is not about working for food or things that perish. The goal is Jesus, not the blessings. Isn’t that what happens to us? We become Christians and we are full of joy and excitement. All we want is to know more about Jesus, to get closer to him, and to tell everyone we know about him. We devour the Bible to learn as much as possible. We pray often and passionately because we are getting to talk to him.
This is what I want for all of us. I want us to remember what it was like to be a new Christian. Remember what it was like to be so in love with Jesus that you sat up all night reading and praying. I want us to remember the excitement and joy that we had to attend church for the very first time after becoming a Christian. I want you to remember the feeling of singing praises to Jesus that moved your soul and brought you to tears. The love and humility that rushed over as you held that piece of bread or the cup of juice.
Can you remember these things? Anyone who wishes to understand and follow Jesus; must be taught, corrected from time to time, shown the better path, reminded of what they were taught, and encouraged to refocus their heart and life on Jesus. Like Jesus said to the church in Ephesus (Rev. 2:1-7), change your path and go back to doing the things you did at the beginning of your faith. Let’s get back to our first love. The goal of Christianity is always Jesus.