“Follow Me”

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“Follow Me”

There is the sound of a lorry outside.

GODFREY It’s the lorry, sir, from G.H.Q.

MAINWARING This is it, men, the moment I’ve been waiting for. Our first issue of uniforms and weapons.

A soldier enters and salutes.

SOLDIER Captain Mainwaring, sir?

MAINWARING Yes, that’s right. I know what you’ve come for.

SOLDIER Just sign here, will you, sir? Mainwaring signs.

MAINWARING Take the men outside, Sergeant, help to unload the weapons.

SOLDIER I don’t think that will be necessary, sir. Here’s the uniforms and there’s the weapons.

Soldier hands Mainwaring a package, and L.D.V. arm bands.

MAINWARING (Puzzled) Open it, Sergeant Wilson.

Wilson quickly tears open the packet, inside are a dozen small packets.

WILSON It’s pepper, sir!

MAINWARING Pepper? WILSON (Reading leaflet) Pepper — enemy — for throwing in face of. Range — five feet.

MAINWARING Well, it’s not quite what we expected, on the other hand, every addition to our armoury is one more nail in the enemy’s coffin. Corporal, issue the armbands. They give us military status. Sergeant, issue the pepper.

Wilson starts to hand out the packets.

MAINWARING And men — take it with you wherever you go. If you see a parachutist — let him have it.

JONES That and the cold steel!

MAINWARING That’s the spirit, Jones. We’re making progress. A short time ago we were a disorganised rabble, now we can deal with tanks. We can kill with our pikes and make ’em all sneeze with our pepper. And after all, even the Hun makes a pretty poor fighter with his head buried in a handkerchief— but remember this, we have one other invaluable weapon on our side. We have an unbreakable fighting spirit, a bulldog tenacity that makes us hang on as long as there’s breath left in our bodies. You don’t get that with Gestapos and Jackboots, you get that by being British! So, come on, Adolf— we’re ready for you.

The platoon cheer.

Jesus said, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19)

Jesus’ words inspire us, but, like Captain Mainwaring in 1940, we may feel very ill-equipped. However, we need to look at our circumstances again with the centurion’s eyes, and realise, if we are following Jesus, we do have the resources of heaven at our disposal.

Why are the centurion’s words a sign of revival? A sign is something that points to something else, it helps us get to where we want to go. We need to look at the sign and then look at what it is pointing to.

The centurion said, “For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one ‘Go’, and he goes; and that one, ‘Come’, and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this’, and he does it”. (Luke 7:8)

For the centurion, it was his own experience as a junior officer in the Roman army that was the sign to understanding Jesus’ miraculous abilities. We can read his words and follow his logic, and come to the same place of faith that he did.

The centurion saw that Jesus was submitted to the Father’s authority, just as he himself came under the authority of those in command over him. He recognised that the source of his own authority was his willingness to accept the orders of his superior officers. Jesus was astounded by this man’s words because they revealed that he understood Jesus’ submission to the Father.

The British armed forces have a rule book called Queen’s Regulations. Every officer needs to be familiar with it, but, if he or she is to play their vital part in the conduct of a war, they need to receive and act on the orders that come down the chain of command, when they receive them. As Christians we have our equivalent to Queen’s Regulations, the Bible; but without a steady stream of up-to-date communications from our Commander-in-Chief we will never be effective in pushing back the forces of evil in our world. This is where Luke 7:8 speaks about revival. Revivals are like major campaigns in the conduct of a war, they are times when the enemy’s hold on a region is overcome. Operation Overlord was the decisive move in the Second World War: this started on D-Day and resulted in the capture of a large part of Normandy. An analogous move was the Welsh Revival (1904-5), which resulted in an estimated 100,000 becoming Christians. God needs people who are willing to think, speak and act like the centurion; who will be his local commanders in the field, listening for orders and speaking out commands over the forces of evil and the forces of nature.

When Jesus said, over and over again, “Follow me” he meant that we are to be like him in his willingness to receive our own personal stream of commands and other communication from God, and to act on what we hear.

Holy Trinity’s former Worship Leader, Laura Barratt, described a vision:

“In July 2009 God gave me a vision. I had this picture of myself walking along a beach. As I was walking I could see Jesus walking in front of me; when I saw it was Jesus I started speeding up to get closer to him, and I was trying to show him that I wanted to be so close to him walking in his ways and that I was right behind him following his every move. I knew that he wanted me to follow him and watch what he was doing. As I was walking right behind him he put his hand out; and I knew he was beckoning me to go and walk alongside him. I felt the Lord say to me “Do not walk behind me, but alongside me. Give me your hand, for you do not have to look at the back of me, come and walk beside me. For I am the bridegroom and you are the bride. Walk beside me beautiful bride, for this is the season I am leading my church into. It is a new season. It is time for the bride and the bridegroom to walk alongside one another. It is time for my church to be visible.” God is calling his church to be intimate with him. For us to walk hand in hand with him. For us to be joined with him hand in hand. [5]

This was a vision given to a young woman, but it is clear it is for his whole Church, his Bride. We males have to realise this is as much for us as it is for the other half of the population. This vision gives us an insight into what Jesus meant when he said, “Follow me.”

There are individual verses or short passages in the Bible that seem to be particularly significant. There are fragments of Scripture that are pregnant with depth of meaning; that are worth repeated study and meditation. Great books and Christian movements have been founded on single verses, but when a phrase is repeated across a number of books of the Bible we can be sure that the Holy Spirit wants to bring it to our attention. Significant weight is added to this when the phrase is on the lips of Jesus. Such are these simple words: “Follow me”; recorded 20 times in the Gospels. Jesus said this to a variety of people. One of these was Peter in John 21. He told Peter that he would follow him by being executed, but his final “Follow me” was looking to Peter’s immediate future. He was not saying to Peter that he was to follow Jesus to heaven in the next few days when Jesus ascended. Rather, he was saying that Peter should live as Jesus had lived when he was on earth and that he should continue to listen for his voice and step out in faith and obedience, as he had done (albeit somewhat imperfectly) over the last 3½ years.

The Bible contains a book that gives us a partial history of the early church. It is called ‘The Acts of the Apostles’ and contains not a description of the church as an organisation, nor a list of what it believed or its forms of worship, but ‘what it says on the can’. It is the narrative of what members of the early church actually did, with particular emphasis on Peter, then Paul. These guys followed Jesus, living their lives as he did, not following any master plan but listening for his voice:

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)

It’s fascinating to go through the Bible looking for common characteristics in the lives of the main characters. The only repeated feature I can find is that they were each given an individual revelation by God; and then he waited to see if they would live according to what they had received. This applies to a very long list, most responded positively, the few that did not are identified with a ‘no’:

Adam and Eve – no, Cain – no, Abraham, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Gideon, Hannah, Eli – no, Samuel, Saul, Nathan, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, all the prophets, Zechariah – no, then yes, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, Simeon, Anna, Nathaniel, Andrew, Peter, Centurion, Mary and Martha of Bethany, Cleopas, Nicodemus, Thomas – no then yes, Stephen, Aeneas, Paul, Phillip, Ethiopian Eunuch.

This flows from the Old Testament into the New, so we can conclude this is the way God wants to work with us – to give each of us our own revelation and to see if we are willing to walk in it. As we look through church history and consider those who lives have had the greatest impact, these words by CS Lewis become self-evident:

How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints.[6]

‘Saints’ are not those who are particularly holy, but those who receive personal revelation and who live by it. If God has no favourites, then this must potentially be true for all followers of Jesus. I believe that every Christian should expect to live by the words that come out of the mouth of God for him or her. God may speak to us through the life of another Christian, but it is clear that we are not to be clones of each other. God may use church ‘leaders’ to speak to us, but we are never to follow them blindly or unreservedly. Jesus often speaks to us through the pages of the Bible, but he does not want us to follow him through any human-designed plan, even if it can be shown to be ‘Biblical’.

Therefore, Jesus meant, when he said, “Follow me”:

  • Live as I did when I was on earth (without deviation, hesitation,…)
  • Listen for my voice every moment – I will not give you a master plan to follow, so you will need to be attentive and alert

We know that no human being before or since the life of Jesus on earth has or will fully emulate him, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7) and he seeks those who want to follow Jesus in this way.

It is no good expecting the well-tried formula: ‘What Would Jesus DO (WWJD)?’ to work. When Jesus calls us to follow his example of living the Christian life, it is not a matter of imagining what he might do in each of the situations we find ourselves in. Any honest reading of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life on earth has to come to the conclusion that he was totally unpredictable. The idea that we can, by an act of imagination, guess what he might do in our shoes is laughable. One reason that we can never second-guess him is that he never acted on his own:

“Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” (John 14:10)

The communion Jesus has with the Father is so close that in his prayer to the Father he could say,

“…you are in me and I am in you.” (John 17:21)

Logically, of course, it is impossible for A to be inside B at the same time that B is inside A; but we know that God is beyond our logic. This idea of ‘mutual indwelling’ also applies to us believers and Jesus. In fact, the most common way the New Testament refers to Christians (that particular word is only used three times) is to identify us as those who are in Christ (over 100 times) and those whom he is in (over 15 times). If we take them seriously, these two expressions give us a wealth of understanding, that help us to appreciate the potential of being one with him.

W. Ian Thomas put this helpfully:

To be in Christ ­ that is redemption; but for Christ to be in you ­ that is sanctification! To be in Christ ­ that makes you fit for heaven; but for Christ to be in you ­ that makes you fit for earth! To be in Christ ­ that changes your destination; but for Christ to be in you ­ that changes your destiny! The one makes heaven your home ­ the other makes this world His workshop.[7]

James Wade was inspired to draw this diagram to illustrate what it means to be in Christ and to have him living in you.

The top of the diagram represents us in Christ, in heaven; as Paul put it:

God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6)

We are already there because Christ is there and we are in him now; this is the upward-pointing arrow on the right side of the diagram. The other arrow represents Jesus coming to live in us here on earth. There is a curious symmetry in as you look at the diagram:

  • At the top of the diagram, the Father sees us clothed in Christ in heaven (Galatians 3:27, Colossians 3:3), he sees us and communicates with us through his Son. This is the world-wide church, and the church throughout the ages gathered together in Christ.
  • At the bottom of the diagram, the world should be able to see Christ clothed in our bodies; they should be able to meet Jesus in us. This is the world-wide church embodied in us here on earth.

The following sentence was the ‘top of the bill’ in Jesus’ great high priestly prayer; he proclaimed to the Father:

“…I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17:26)

Jesus greatest desire for his followers was that they would have and experience the Father’s love for the Son and the Son’s actual presence in them.

As the background to the diagram indicates, all of this was made possible by the Cross, and it is the Holy Spirit doing the work.

CS Lewis put it like this:

When Christians say the Christ-life is in them, they do not mean simply something mental or moral. When they speak of being “in Christ” or of Christ being “in them,” this is not simply a way of saying that they are thinking about Christ or copying Him. They mean that Christ is actually operating through them…[8]

Many Christians, since the start of the Pentecostal Movement at the beginning of the 20th Century, have emphasised that the Holy Spirit is living in us, to empower and transform us. In the early years of the 21st Century, we are beginning to appreciate the significance that all three Persons of the Godhead are living in us. As Jesus was (and still is) a human being, as well as being the Second Person of the Trinity, we can particularly relate to him, we can be in communion with him as Peter, James, John and all the others were, when he was on earth.

The answer to living as Jesus did is to realise we have the same opportunity of divine guidance that he did. Jesus prayed to the Father (and we can be sure his prayers have been answered):

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me.” (John 17:22-23)

We have a hotline to God the Father, through the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is how it is possible to live as Jesus did.

I hear you saying, “It may be possible to hear Jesus’ voice, as he heard the voice of his Father, but surely he was the Son of God, he could do things that are impossible for us limited, fallible, sinful beings.” He was, and is and will always be fully God and fully man, but he chose to limit himself to the mind and body of a human being, in part to show us what human beings are capable of. This is testified to all the way through the New Testament, and in particular:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8)

It could be claimed that there are fundamental differences between Jesus and the rest of humanity so that the idea of using his earthly life as a model for ours is not reasonable. For example, we see from the Gospels that Jesus has authority to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6, etc.), but the post-Resurrection Jesus passed this on to us;

“If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:23)

However, as we read the New Testament, it is clear that Jesus on earth was as limited in what he could do as we are, although we need to remember:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

Jesus sinlessness does make a huge difference, yet he has dealt with even this. His death on the cross paid the price for our sin, he sets us free from the enslavement of sin, free to follow and to serve him as he did his Father. What’s more, we have each other. Jesus does not expect any single one of us to step up the mark in being totally like him, rather this is a mission he places on the whole church. He wants us to bring our individual gifts together, with each one of us in continual communion with him, then we can begin to see what following him really looks like.

A phrase you sometimes hear is ‘the truth will set you free’. Most of those who say it do not seem to realise that it was first spoken by Jesus, and we need to see it in context:

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32 NASB)

There is a definite sequence here. The first step is to believe in Jesus. Without this, the rest of the statement is fine-sounding, but ultimately powerless. He then said we need to continue (or abide) in his word. This means staying in the place where we can hear him directly. To be a disciple of Jesus means to hear his word and to be willing to step out in faith and obey it. Through his word, we hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; and not just hear the truth but understand it. With revelation comes insight and a profound appreciation of what is going on. This is what sets us free, free from doubt, anxiety, … all the things that keep us, like a rabbit trapped in car headlights, from knowing which way to turn.

Jesus did not say, “Follow me by following someone else or some formula, pattern, set of doctrines, …”. He definitely meant us to have a direct connection with him through his words and actions when he was on earth, and through the Holy Spirit in the here and now. There is a great temptation for church leaders to insist that by following them, they can provide all that is necessary to follow Jesus; and there is a temptation for church members to go along with this. It seems sensible to put your trust in someone or something that can be seen and heard, and in someone who is willing to take responsibility for your spiritual life. Through this, you can have a feeling of security. However, this is illusory – it is like a child’s security blanket, only a token; for the real security the child has is the love of his or her parents. This is directly analogous for us; our only real security is the love God has for us.

One thing Jesus said five times:

“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34 NRSV)[9]

It is important to understand that taking up your cross does not mean carrying a personal burden, something we would like to get rid of. In the First Century, if you saw someone carrying a cross, you certainly would pity them, but not because of what they were carrying, but where they were going – to their death. Denying yourself does not mean giving up something you like, but rather taking yourself off the throne of your life. Paul understood what Jesus was getting at when he wrote:

For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:19-20 NRSV)

Following Jesus means allowing him to live though me, allowing him to express himself through every part of my being; knowing that he will never seek to control or manipulate me. One analogy the New Testament uses to express this is marriage:

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”  This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31-32)

Jesus left his Father in heaven and the mother that gave birth to him, and is united to us, living through us; the one flesh the Body of Christ has on earth is ours.


I’m sure that many people reading this chapter will say to themselves, “That’s all very well and good, and undoubtedly true, but how do I hear Jesus, and how can I be sure it is him?”. Here are a few points from my experience.

Jesus will not command me to do something unless I am prepared to do it. That sounds a bit convoluted but we need to remember that ‘the Lord looks at the heart’ (1 Samuel 16:7). He knows better than I do what I am willing to do. These verses make it abundantly clear:

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)

Jesus’ words are infinitely precious, they will outlast not just the universe but heaven as well (Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33), therefore he does not waste them. This means that, if we want to hear from him it must be that we are willing to put them into practice. We know that Jesus loves us and he will never ask us to do anything that will harm us or anyone else; this is our security – we will always be able to trust him.

I believe one of the most important characteristics of communications from Jesus is that they usually are a total surprise. God is infinitely creative (in addition to being infinite in every other respect). He never needs to repeat himself, the sheer uniqueness of every message from the throne of grace helps us to discern its genuineness.

As we read in the Gospels the conversations that Jesus had with those he encountered, we see that he spoke to each one using words that were spot-on for that individual, although no amount of analysis or human logic could have chosen them. Why he spoke to a theologian (Nicodemus) about being born again or to a Samaritan woman about worship is beyond our reasoning, but we can read about results of their hearts being transformed (John 19:39, John 4:39). We must allow Jesus to speak to us in the way he chooses. If I put constraints on how he speaks to me, I may very well miss a vital communication. Some people try ‘spiritual exercises’ as a way of opening themselves up to hear his voice, but, without being too negative, these will inevitably limit the means by which his voice can be heard.

However, I have found that there are certain environments that facilitate hearing his voice. There is an example of this in the book of Acts:

While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)

I have certainly found that corporate worship is a wonderful place to be in to hear him speaking

More about worship

. More than once, I have received life-changing words in the context of the worship at Soul Survivor (a large-scale Christian camp for teenagers) – certainly not a quiet contemplative environment! Maybe it is the act of fixing our (spiritual) eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) that opens our (spiritual) ears to hear him.

We were given a new name for Holy Trinity Church (‘Bethany’) during a day of fasting and prayer. This is described in Chapter 7. It should be noted that the call to spend a day thus came through a prophetic word. I do not believe we should attempt to force Jesus’ hand by choosing to fast in order to hear him. With God, the reasons why we do things are even more important than what we choose to do.

There was a book written many years ago which had a great title: God of Surprises[10]. These three words express my experience of reading the Gospels and encountering the risen Jesus in my life and in the testimony of others. If God does something expected in the way we expect, then it probably is not God. He is far too creative to conform to our expectations. However, God can break any rules we may put up and sometimes he does repeat himself to give us increased confidence in what we are hearing.

I started work at All Saints’ Church, Ashdon, in March 2015 with a licencing service in the church. The Area Bishop of Colchester, Roger Morris, arrived and I was introduced to him for the first time. Before signing my licence, he preached – to my amazement, he repeated much of my last sermon at Holy Trinity, Belle Vue, Shrewsbury. I had served 15 years at Holy Trinity and, as this book testifies, received many of my most profound experiences of God there; so you can imagine how much time I put into preparing my last sermon. I told Bishop Roger about this ‘coincidence’ after the service – he promised that he had not peeped. A few months later, the next time I met him was at another licencing service in the village of Thaxted. He preached again, this time closely following the theme of my last book: Bethany – resurrected church[11]; seeing the village of Bethany in Judea as Jesus’ model for the local church (see Chapter 7). You can imagine how surprised I was. I had been doing some teaching and therefore had some copies of the book in the car, so I gave him one, and he again professed his innocence of plagiarism! I believe Jesus was showing me that this is a godly man whom I can trust, but perhaps more importantly, his signature is on my licence. This was a confirmation that I have Jesus’ approval of the place that I am serving.

We might feel more comfortable if we had a set of rules that could be applied to the whole business of hearing Jesus and discerning his voice, but that would be an Old Covenant way of working. The New Covenant works by relationship (loving God with your whole being and loving your neighbour as yourself). The real answer is to know him, as he promised:

“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” calling this covenant “new”, he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and ageing will soon disappear. (Hebrews 8:10-13, quoting Jeremiah 31:33-34)

This seems hopelessly optimistic. Many would argue that we need our present denominational hierarchies, institutional committees, synods, etc., as a defence against heresy; but the Bible indicates that the local church is the place where discernment should be exercised when revelation is received and communicated.

Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. (1 Corinthians 14:29)

This was our experience at Holy Trinity Church. An environment where the prophetic is encouraged would seem to be a recipe for anarchy; but our experience was that the gift of discernment is best exercised corporately. Some seemly prophetic words were spoken out by individuals which were simply ignored by the Body, without any overt judgement of the ‘prophet’. Other words were accepted enthusiastically and acted on. I believe that Jeremiah’s prophecy of the New Covenant was being fulfilled, but the church needed a healthy Body with a healthy corporate mind. My role as Vicar (with the rest of the Apostolic Team[12]) was to be like the Bereans:

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)

One of the reasons that the denominations (even some Pentecostal ones) are in slow decline is that they have rejected the possibility that Jesus may want to lead different local churches in different directions; or even if some variation is allowed, they want to keep all churches within certain boundaries. I remember describing to a clerical colleague what was going on in Holy Trinity Church; his question was, “So what now makes you Anglican?”. This threw me for a moment, but then I asked why I would want to be ‘Anglican’. In my humble opinion, there are advantages to being part of the Church of England, but they are pragmatic and do not amount to some kind of tribal identity. For example, since the Reformation, each local church has had a fair degree of autonomy to seek its own path; with generally only a light touch of direction from the hierarchy.

I know what this book is proposing for each local church looks too dangerous for more than a few isolated examples to attempt. You may believe that the present situation is much better, where we can go into most churches and very rarely be surprised by the form or content of their worship, teaching, ministry or any other aspect of their corporate life. Yet when we look in the New Testament for clues as to how churches in the 1st Century operated, we find nothing that corresponds with the current models of church in this country. For example, 1 Corinthians 14 is the only chapter[13] in the New Testament that contains a description of corporate worship, and it is a long way from most local churches in this country today.

When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. (1 Corinthians 14:26)

It could be argued there are so many differences between life in the first century and the twenty-first century, plus the accumulations of all that church history, that applying models of church from the New Testament to today will not work. However, there are some parallels between then and now: like the original Christians we live in a stable, peaceful, prosperous society; yet one that is multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-faith.

There is probably a maximum size that a New Testament church could grow to and remain healthy, but that limit may still apply today if a church is to experience the life of Jesus in its fellowship. Perhaps the limit is something like the 120 of the church in Jerusalem before the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:15). If church grows larger than this, maybe it needs to divide, like a single-cell organism.

Is it not possible that the relative weakness of the church in the UK may be due to its unwillingness to let each local church be dynamically led by its Master? Not along any particular path that we might conceive, but as he wills, from his perspective as Commander-in-Chief.

Discussion Points

  1. When Jesus said, “Follow me”, he meant us to live as he did and to obey the words he speaks to us. Can you think of other ways we can follow him?
  2. Being ‘in Christ’ is the most common way the New Testament identifies Christians, more often than ‘saints’, ‘children of God’, ‘believers’,… What does this tell us about our identity?
  3. For over a century, parts of the church have focussed on the Holy Spirit living in us. How does this emphasis on the indwelling of the person of Jesus change the way we live our lives?

Next Chapter

More insights from the Centurion

More about churches following Jesus