31st December 2021

Following the Lamb

It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb

Revelation 14:4 ESV

Part of the lyrics of one of my favourite Christmas songs goes like this: “Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations? Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?” (1)

Who would have thought that Mary’s new-born child would grow up to be the Saviour of the world? Mary might have had an inkling because, when she and Joseph heard the words of the shepherds about how the Saviour was to be found wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, she “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19 ESV). Simeon and Anna spoke of salvation and redemption when they saw the infant Jesus (see Luke 2:22-38), but did any of these people understand fully that Jesus would be the sacrificial Lamb of God whom believers would be called to follow?

It was about 30 years later when Mary’s nephew, John the Baptist, declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 ESV) as he saw Jesus coming towards him to be baptized. Two of John the Baptist’s own disciples, Andrew and John (the Evangelist and Gospel writer), heard his message about Jesus and decided to follow this Lamb of God. Others would also follow Jesus, just as we too are called to do so today.

The word translated as “follow” has an interesting meaning in biblical Greek. In addition to accompanying someone who leads, it also implies that you imitate that person in what he or she does and in how he or she acts. If you followed a teacher, you’d follow the teacher’s words and personal example. Later Jesus would say to his disciples and through them to us, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 ESV). To follow Jesus involves both putting aside our selfishness and being willing to sacrifice for others.

Luke 5:11 records that the disciples “left everything and followed him”. In deciding to go with Jesus, they put their previous lives behind them. They set an example for us. Do we need to do something similar? Should we use 2022 to make a re-commitment to follow Jesus in all circumstances and in every situation? As a body of believers, let’s both personally and collectively re-dedicate our lives to Jesus.

Let’s follow the lead of the Lamb.

Prayer

I am yours, Lord, and I need the strength of your Spirit to follow you wherever you lead me. Help me, please, to rededicate myself to you. Amen.

Study by Gavin Henderson

1 https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/pentatonix/marydidyouknow.html

 

About the writer: Gavin Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for GCI UK and Ireland

Local congregation:  
GCI Northampton Ecton 
Village Hall 
78A High Street 
Ecton 
NORTHAMPTON 
NN6 0QB

Meeting time: Saturday 11am

Local congregational contact: Email: northampton@gracecom.church

Word of Life contact: wordoflife@gracecom.church