A friend and his wife had taken a trip to Africa some time ago. We were at their house when he pulls out his phone and shows me a video of them on a guided tour walking among lions. His wife was in front, at times holding on to a lion’s tail or caressing its mane. He was pretty impressed with her fearlessness. He was proud of her courage. Later, when I gave it some thought, I realised he had every right to be.
One of the lion’s paws was the size of her head. In one picture, as the lion lay, she knelt beside it touching its back thigh. I don’t know if she was afraid, but she didn’t seem to be. Somehow, in the presence of all that power, she not only remained composed, but it seemed she had found a friend.
What I didn't realise at the time was that I would be given the same opportunity on a trip to Mauritius. The walk with lions! These animals are not for the faint hearted, any wrong move, and your life is in their grasps. But, I stayed composed, authoritative and commanding.
Is that what it’s like to walk with Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah?
When called, the disciples left everything and followed Him. Traveling from town to town, region to region, they had fellowship with the Son of God. And, though they didn’t quite understand how he would save them, they believed in his amazing power. The disciples were in the company of greatness, and they learned two things.
They knew they had nothing to fear.
If you’ve ever been around people who hold powerful positions, you know there’s an air about them that puts most people on edge. Not so with Jesus. To be sure, there was an air about Him. But, Jesus wasn’t the type to “throw his weight around.” Because, though His power was evident, His humility gave them comfort. It was the kind of comfort that made a fisherman walk on water one day and draw his sword the next. Right after Jesus was betrayed, Peter drew his sword in an effort to prevent Jesus from being captured. Jesus said, “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” Matthew 26:53 NIV
Oooh! That gave me chills just now. Jesus just reminded them that when you know your source of power, you know you have nothing to fear. It’s up to you to remember that.
They knew they could call Jesus friend.
The disciples had walked with Jesus for three years. From the time he told them to follow Him, they did so with the understanding that He was now their master. For years they called Him “Teacher,” or “Lord,” or something akin to that. But the time had come when all of that changed.
After washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus put it all on the line. He warned the disciples of the betrayal to come. He informed Peter of his forthcoming denial. He encouraged them to believe in His way, His truth, His light. He promises them the power of the Holy Spirit. He reminds them of where their hearts should be rooted. He speaks to them of the hatred they will receive from the world. Then, he encourages them that He has overcome the world.
Somewhere, right in the middle of all of that, Jesus says this, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 NIV
When you choose to walk in the presence of Jesus, He will treat you as he would a friend. He warns you of the dangers that lie ahead as a result of your faith. Then tells you He has overcome them. So, as my friend did with the lion, you peacefully walk beside him with nothing to fear. You reach out to touch him because you trust him with your life. You kneel before him because he is your source of power.
Jesus is the Lion of Judah. There is nothing to fear when you are in Him. His power is as great as his love for you. Just as the disciples got to know him, he offers you that same opportunity. It might seem strange at first to walk side by side with a lion. It’s not a choice for the faint at heart. But Jesus, in his humility, didn’t flaunt his might around us.
“Rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
The Lion of Judah did that for you. He did that for me.
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