Jesus lived a simple life – but that did not make him a simple person. He was an itinerant preacher who traveled from village to village. So far as we know he had no home that he owned. He was not married. He had no children. He probably had little in the way of clothing or personal effects. He certainly wasn’t paying on a student loan, mortgage or consumer debt.
His words and teachings reflect the simplicity of Jesus’ life:
- Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. (Luke 9:58).
- Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth . . . but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. (Matthew 6:19)
- Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink . . . . Look at the birds . . . consider the lilies . . . will (God) not much more clothe you? (Matthew 6:25ff)
Richard Foster wrote: “Simplicity is freedom.” (Celebration of Discipline) Don’t you agree? Yet we have an uncanny way of making life complicated – over wrought, over drawn, over extended, over scheduled – aren’t you over it?
Jesus invited persons, and invites us yet today, to “follow” him. Shouldn’t part of our following Jesus be the imitation of his simple way of living? Why, then, is my closet filled with suits, pants, shirts, sweaters (you get the picture) that I seldom wear but can’t quite seem to give away? Why do we worry about our life – our 401k, our investments, our influence, or reputation – when “each day has enough trouble of its own”? Why can’t we just let our “yes” be “yes” and our “no, no”; rather than feel the need to drop names, share the news or otherwise try to impress others with what and who we know?
We who claim the title “Christian” or (my preference) “Christ follower”, should be doing just that – following – simply following, one who lived a simple life.
*Note: “Live Simply” is our 2016 Stewardship emphasis at FBC Columbus and also the title of a four Sunday sermon series I will begin sharing this Sunday, October 30th. Join us at 9:30 a.m. in person or via live stream.
One response to “Live Simply: Follow Jesus”
Thanks as always for a thoughtful read. We first read that work by Foster when you were our pastor. Jesus’ Spirit is so good at whispering to us the joy of that simpler life…learning to be still and listen is our part…always difficult in the cacophony of our times.