I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. John 17:15
For the last twenty years, I’ve been on a spiritual journey as a follower of Jesus. Living as a Christian woman in the 21st century can be confusing and conflicting. We’re taught to live and love like Jesus in a world filled with sin, danger and hatred.
It sounds kind of crazy to think that we can have a relationship with a man who walked the earth over two thousand years ago, but we can. It also seems crazy to think that he hears us, answers our prayers and is alive, but he is.
Jesus knows that life here is hard and that we need strength to help us remain faithful to his calling. But he promised to be with us and sent the Holy Spirit to help. Before his crucifixion he gathered his disciples together and said, “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16:7
He knows the trials we face and the difficulties we have to overcome.
One time, when he was alone with some of his followers, he cautioned them by saying, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd (wise, wary) as snakes and as innocent (harmless) as doves” Matt 10:16 (emphasis mine).
He often spoke in parables using common language and word pictures for the ordinary folks living in the Ancient Near East. Luke 8:10 explains why, but I won’t go into that right now. Just trust me when I tell you that his stories had purpose; they were his way of weeding out those who believed what he said and those who didn’t.
I picture him as an outdoorsy kind of guy.
He taught on the side of a mountain near Jerusalem, walked by the sea of Galilee, and prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Gethsemane means “oil press” and though I didn’t see it during my trip to Jerusalem, I had an Arabic taxi driver take me to an olive grove when we were in the West Bank. This incredibly peaceful place helped connect me to the many agricultural facets of scripture.
Though we no longer live in an agrarian culture (most of us anyway), the Bible is no less relevant to us today. I hope to dig deeper and bring some of those passages to life for you. Jesus wants us to know and love him. He wants us to walk with him, in this world, into a rich, full life and help others get to know him.
Trust and rest in the knowledge that he is here and his Holy Spirit still helps us.