It’s Monday Grace!
You don’t have to go very far back in your ancestry to realize that most people throughout history walked wherever they needed to go. There are great migrations of people that changed history, and almost all of those folks walked. If your ancestors are European, you might be surprised at how often and how far they moved within just a few generations.
Walking was just the normal mode of transportation. Yes, many traveled by boat, but that cost money. Some had horses or donkeys, but not many. In Bible times, people walked. At least three times a year, the Jewish men who lived in Galilee in the time of Jesus were required to attend the feasts in Jerusalem. From Galilee to Jerusalem was roughly 100 miles and took about thirty hours at a good pace. So, two to three days of steady walking. One way. Three times a year.
When Jesus gathered his disciples, the twelve and several others traveled with Him to several places in Israel. There may have been twenty in the group that walked with Jesus, men and women. They ate together, walked together, and spent almost all their time together.
So, these folks who walked with Jesus got to know Him. They saw Him in a variety of circumstances and with a variety of people. We have only a few of the hundreds of stories that could have been told about Jesus connecting with people along the way. We have only snippets of the teaching He must have given to them. John, who walked with Jesus from the beginning of His ministry, wrote:
And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.
In other words, they learned a lot and experienced a lot. Just by spending time with Jesus.
Now, when you walk as a group you don’t always get exclusive attention from the leader. He interacts with the rest of the group. But you can watch and listen. You can learn as much from indirect communication. Just being with Jesus is learning and growing.
So, walking with Jesus is being aware of His constant presence. Seeing Him at work in your life and in the lives of others is learning of Him. When you see things happen that surprise you or bless you or teach you, consider that to be the hand of Jesus in your life. When others tell their stories, listen for the touch of Jesus.
Of course, walking with Jesus is full-time. We don’t say that we walk with Jesus every weekend or that we can’t walk with Him at work. The idea of walking with Him is every day living. At home, at work, at school, at church, on vacation, in the store—it’s all the same. Jesus is there with us.
Nor it is just being convinced of His presence. Believing that Jesus is omnipresent is not the same as walking with Him. I can imagine that there were many who made the trip from Galilee to Jerusalem to attend the feasts. Maybe hundreds walked the path at the same time. Not all of them walked with Jesus, even though Jesus was somewhere present.
No, those who walk with Jesus know they are walking with Him. They listen to Him and watch Him. They look for His activity, His grace.
One more thing: walking with Jesus is more important than the purpose of the trip. In other words, some of those who walked with Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem at feast time didn’t have to go. Women were not required to attend any of the feasts except maybe Passover. But they traveled with Jesus to be with Him. It didn’t matter where He was going, the point was to be with Him.
In the same way, the true purpose of the Christian life is to be with Jesus. That’s our goal at the end, and it’s our goal for today. We can trust Him to lead us into the places He wants us to be. We can trust Him to guide us to do the things He wants us to do. We will miss nothing important in life as we walk with Jesus.
Years ago I heard a saying about a person: “He was so heavenly-minded that he was no earthly good.” No, that’s not possible. Those who walk with Jesus see others around them because He sees others. They learn to love others because He loves others. They serve and care and work and love because Jesus does these things. Jesus is active in our world, and so are those who walk with Him.
Walking with Jesus is how we live the Christian life. It is daily and normal. Together with the Lord who loves us, we walk through life. Never alone.