Two things jumped out at me this morning. There is a lot packed into this chapter, many things that could be pulled out. For me, there are two things Jesus says that are invitations to you and me.
1. Follow me. This was the call Jesus gave to the disciples. And this is the call that we have before us. Notice that Jesus doesn't say "Get your life cleaned up, straightened out, then come interview as my followers." He doesn't say "Jump through these hoops, say these things and you can be in." He simply says "Follow me." It is as if Jesus is saying to people in that day, people today, and everyone in between, "Just hang out with me for awhile and see what happens. I think you'll be convinced that I am who I say I am and that this is the best possible kind of life." I love that invitation.
2. Repent. This one has all kinds of religious baggage wrapped around it, so it is difficult for us to grasp what Jesus was saying. Jesus wasn't calling everyone to suddenly enter into a confessional booth and confess all their sins. He was inviting people to consider the direction of their life and return to the kind of life God had created at the very beginning of time. Repent...or maybe return would be a good translation. If you can, try to forget all the things that enter your mind when you read the word 'repent.' Then, think about what the Garden of Eden might have been like. Jesus invites us to return to that kind of life.
So glad you are taking this journey with us. My prayer is that we aren't just reading, but that we're chewing on these Scriptures, in an attempt to digest them into our lives. May you and I be changed as the Spirit brings life to these words.
And, may you enjoy discovering these words as life, whether you are reading them for the first time or the 5,000th time.