On mission with Jesus – John 12:26

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

The Gospel of John does not include a precise version of the Great Commission. There is no “Go into all the world” or “Go and make disciples,” but this verse offers and interesting take on the subject.

The section of John 12 starts with some Greeks wanting to see Jesus. In all likelihood these are Gentiles and not simply Greek-speaking Jews who happened to be in Jerusalem. They were probably “God-fearers” as believing Gentiles were sometimes called. The early church drew many from this number as the gospel began to go out among the nations.

The verse in question, however, does not so much tell us to go as to follow. If we want to serve Jesus we need to follow him. Moreover, we need to follow him wherever he goes.

I would contend that wherever we might sense that people need Jesus, he is present there already. Go where we might, we are not going to flee from his presence. If our mission takes us to a faraway land, across the country or across the street, when we get there, we will find that Jesus is there already.

Serving Jesus means to go in some sense of the word, but it is going with Jesus or going where he has gone before. The Father will honor those who serve Christ in this fashion, but for right now, Jesus is waiting for us to follow.

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