The Walk

I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12).
The apostle Paul reminded the Church at Ephesus to walk worthy of the calling of God in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 4:1). The word “walk” in the Bible can mean more than walking upright. It can also mean walking through life as a life style or as a way of living.  What did Jesus say about walking worthy?

I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12)

The phrase walk in darkness is a life style of men that goes against God’s will. The phrase have the light of life is a life style that does God’s will. The walk of Jesus is the walk the disciples would learn and one day we as well (1 John 1:6; 2:6).

How did Jesus walk? While many virtuous things are written about the walk of Jesus, his life (then and today) is an indictment against godless humanity (Romans 1:18–32). Among the things Jesus did, denial of self-will was foremost. The denial of self-will is to place God’s will before our own will.

Jesus came to do the Father’s will (John 6:38). Jesus came as the Lamb of God (John 1:29; 1:36). He came to walk out the entirety of his life without blemish (1 Peter 1:18–19; 1 Peter 2:22). Jesus came to give his life for your life and mine, all according to and for the glory of the Father (John 12:27–28).

When John the Baptist referred to Jesus as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), the Jews knew he was referring to the Passover; it is the Jewish festival celebrating Israel’s exodus from Egypt and freedom from slavery to the Egyptians (Exodus 12).

Today we know John the Baptist was referring to the sacrificial offering of Christ as the spiritual atonement (or Passover) resulting in the liberation of believers from slavery to sin to freedom in Christ. About this freedom the apostle Paul wrote, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Romans 6:22).

The crucifixion of Jesus is the gift of gifts described in John 3:16 and the promise of promises referred to in Titus 1:2.  Part 4 in the series (The Gift) explains this fundamental doctrine of Christianity more thoroughly.   

Where was Jesus walking?

From his first step as a toddler to his last at the foot of the cross, Jesus walked without sin (1 Peter 2:22). Can you imagine wearing a white business suit for 33 years without soiling it? Jesus did, in a manner of speaking. As the unblemished Lamb of God, Jesus was always about His Father’s business (Luke 2:48). Day after day he walked in the Spirit unblemished, accomplishing what would be impossible for any other (Hebrews 4:15).

Had he failed even once, there would have been no finished work, no worthy sacrifice for the redemption of mankind, and no resurrection for anyone to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). The King of the Jews would have been a short-lived phenomenon in a book cataloged under Ancient Religions of the Middle East.

But he didn’t fail. He was infallible. He was God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). To make good on the most profound promise given among men (Acts 13:23; 1 John 2:25), the walk of Jesus took him to Calvary; there the wrath of God and the grace of God conjoin to show divine love.

 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

Before Jesus’ walk to Cavalry and ensuing crucifixion, the apostles barely grasped their part and calling in this holy walk to glory. They knew only to learn and follow the Lamb of God and regard every spoken word as spirit and life, leading to eternal life (John 6:63).

Where was Jesus taking the disciples?

Imagine walking on the pathway of life and coming to a sign with the following message: “If you decide to go on, there is no turning back. If you turn back now, you will never know what could have been.” Does the Bible have such a message? Yes it does! Jesus said,

If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul (Matthew 16:24–26)?

Jesus was taking the disciples to a decision point. Turning back keeps the world as it is–going on changes everything forever (Luke 14:33). The New Testament bears witness to this fundamental truth.

Where will Jesus take us?

Jesus will take us on the same walk. The analogy about the sign (a decision point) for the disciples is your sign and mine. It’s everyone’s sign when coming face-to-face with Matthew 16:24–26. Sooner or later, today or tomorrow, and one-by-one, we decide what to do about the cross.

The disciples took up their emblematic cross daily and followed Jesus to Calvary, and then beyond to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16–20). At Calvary they would learn the cost of discipleship is more than following; it is the exchange of one life for another, his for theirs that they might live (1 John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 1:30).

Here’s my point. What was true for the disciples is true for you and me. Our walk begins with the call of God and passes through the cross to the resurrected and glorified life (Romans 8:28-30); but this not to suggest sinless perfection for the believer. Donald W Ekstrand writes,

One of the most comforting passages in all Scripture for us as believers is this—all true believers “walk and live in the realm of light”—not in the “realm of darkness.” That does not mean we are “perfect” or “don’t sin”—it simply means that God is an integral part of our lives; in short, both by God’s choice and by our choice, we are now in partnership with each other! [1]

To miss this truth about walking and living in the light is to miss the love of Christ, which is why the apostle Paul, filled with the light of truth, gloried in the cross (Galatians 6:14). We, too, are called to walk a life style that glories in the Lamb of God by remembering this promise:

I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12).

In closing, you are invited to listen to a song composed by David Hass: Look to Christ (link). It is a beautiful invitation to come to Christ, walk with Christ and live!

Part 3 – The Trial

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[1] Ekstrand, Donald W – Soul Transformation – Xulon Press – Kindle Edition

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

Image Credit: Pending

1 Comment

  1. Jim on September 22, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    This is a great article…

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