On Saturday I will be leaving for my first ever visit to Israel. Needless to say I’m looking forward to visiting the Holy Land. To walk on the very roads and paths where Christ walked, to stand on the shore of the Sea of Galilee where He stood, to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed are exciting prospects.
But even before I leave the inconsistency of my own thoughts (and I imagine this applies to many other people) indicate something is very wrong. Here’s what I mean: As Christians we get giddy with excitement at the prospect of walking where Jesus walked – but is that really so important? Nowhere does scripture hold out to us the spiritual goal of walking where Jesus walked. We’re not promised blessing if we do. We’re not promised holiness if we do. We’re not promised sanctification if we do. In fact walking where Jesus walked as a goal of the Christian life is never address in the Bible as something Christians should long for. It’s something that we have made up.
There is a sense, however, in which we are to walk (a word that is often used in scripture to indicate the manner in which we are to live) where Jesus walked. Not in a literal sense but in a spiritual sense. Galatians 5:16: Walk in the Spirit. Ephesians 4:1: Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called. Ephesians 5:1-2: Be imitators of God as dear children and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us. Colossians 1:10: Walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him. Colossians 2:6: As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.
Walking (living) the way Jesus walked is far more important than walking where Jesus walked. The first will change your life and the lives of those around you; the second is less likely to do so. And that is the inconsistency that I see. We (including myself) get far more excited about walking where Jesus walked but not so excited about walking how Jesus walked. We are willing to spend large amounts of time and money to walk where Jesus walked but little time or money to learn how to walk in the way Jesus walked. It is only when we begin as Christians to walk through life the way Jesus walked through life that we will have an impact on our world.
I’m looking forward to walking where Jesus walked. I hope that I’m looking forward with the same eagerness to walking how Jesus walked.
Stay in the Word