Don’t Walk Away from Jesus, if You Don’t Know What You’re Walking Toward.
Updated: Nov 6, 2019
We all follow people on Instagram or friend somebody on Facebook because we met once or twice and they were ‘nice enough’. Maybe you had a short conversation and thought you had a lot in common with them. Why not follow them on social media? Everything is great until they keep inviting you to play candy crush or won’t stop sharing articles about politics. They do something that makes you wish you had never followed them in the first place. So, you click that unfollow button.
In the same way, if you’re following Jesus right now and everything seems ok, you might still reach a point someday where you wish you could push the unfollow button on Jesus. Maybe life hands you a circumstance and you wonder where God is in it. Maybe someone who was once a close friend makes fun of you for following Jesus. Or maybe you’ve already unfollowed Jesus. Whatever the circumstance, sometimes life shakes our faith in ways we didn’t expect.
If you’re thinking “No way, that would ever happen to me. I love the Lord I serve at my church and participate in a Bible study. This message doesn’t apply to me.” I want to challenge you to read on anyway, because if you are strong in your faith now, I guarantee that you will feel doubt later on down the road and want to unfollow Jesus.
If you don’t believe me, let’s look at an example… John the Baptist. John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus Himself. John’s ministry really took off before Jesus came onto the scene and began His work. If we look in Matthew 3:2, we see that John has a really simple message for his followers, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” In other words, “Repent, because the Messiah is here.” He is spending his days baptizing thousands and thousands of people.
If we go down further to Matthew 3:11, he says “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
In short, this guy is known for His bold, bold faith in Jesus. BUT, if we skip forward a few chapters to Matthew 11, we see that John is now imprisoned for his bold faith. In Matthew 11:2, it says, “Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, “Are you the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?”” WHAT? This seems kind of out of left field… the guy who was known for his bold faith in Christ is now doubting! Jesus’ response to this was to look at the miracles and works that he’s doing.
Later on, in Matthew 11:11, Jesus says, “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Jesus just called John the Baptist the greatest of all time. If the man that Jesus Himself called the G.O.A.T. (the greatest of all time) has doubted, then every single one of us will experience doubt while walking with the Lord. But here’s the thing: Jesus can handle your doubts.
Even Jesus’ disciples had doubts in John 6:53. For a little bit of context on this passage: Jesus just got done feeding the 5,000. People are so stocked about Jesus! They’re saying, “This guy gives us free bread, we’re going to start following Him!” But then, Jesus says something a little weird in verse 53, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him.” People freak out at this statement. They’re like “uuuuh cannibalism is weird. I don’t know about this guy anymore, he’s starting to weird me out.” And so many people ‘click the unfollow button’ on Jesus because they don’t understand the metaphor that Jesus is conveying. Jesus is saying that this earthly bread is only going to satisfy you for a short period of time BUT if you partake in HIM, HE will satisfy you for eternity.
If we go down to verse 66, “As a result of this many people withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you? Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy one of God.”” This is the main idea I’m trying to convey: Don’t walk away from Jesus, if you don’t know where you’re walking toward. Simon Peter knew the right response. If you’re not going to follow Jesus, then who? And if you’re not going to be a Christian, then what would you be? Where else would you turn?
Just look at our political and social climate. Suicide rates out climbing, our country is so divided politically, violence is around every corner. The world on its own has no hope. I can tell you from experience that the world doesn’t make more sense apart from Jesus, it makes less.
Even with your doubts, Jesus is still your best option because He offers hope and we know He offers salvation, He is always beside of us and in front of and behind us. But don’t sit with these doubts when they come. Talk to a mentor, be honest with your life group, or ask God to reveal Himself to you. It can be easy, in the middle of doubt, to forget all this God has done for you. Keep a journal to look back on how God brought you through a tough situation or answered a prayer. You will be able to see God’s faithfulness in your life on a sheet on paper. It will help reaffirm your faith in Him in times of doubt.