Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
I am driving north on the interstate in the middle lane doing the speed limit, because I am a law abiding citizen. People have been passing me on the left for some time. Note, I am still doing the speed limit.
Soon traffic slows, much more so on my right. A State Trooper has a speeder pulled over. Everyone is now a law abiding citizen. Soon after passing the trooper the number of cars passing me at a higher rate of speed increases. Fear of being caught seems to have left those drivers.
Not much further down the interstate a black and white clearly marked State Trooper comes onto the interstate and is slightly ahead of me and to my right. I, as always, am doing the speed limit. I note the trooper is keeping pace at exactly the speed limit. All the traffic is following the trooper at that exact pace.
It seems his presence keeps everyone law abiding. To my left a car comes slowly alongside and the trooper is in plain sight, yet this car inches forward perhaps only five miles an hour faster. Histrionics has taught us that tickets are not usually given out for that grace amount, so he boldly moves on.
The trooper pulls sharply to the left lane and his lights come on. The slight offense is an offense none the less. Perhaps the bigger offense here was not going alone with the plan to keep pace. That was after all the trooper’s mission that day, not to catch offenders but to prevent offenders.
Immediately afterwards the traffic was passing me on the left even faster than before.
Do you have to see Jesus in order to follow Jesus? Is your failure to see Jesus justification for lawlessness?