Photo by Jeff Barbour

In my morning readings lately, I’ve been learning about some of the people Jesus met while He was here on earth.  Luke 19 is a good example.

Luke 19 (paraphrase)

Jesus entered Jericho and was just passing through. A man lived there who was a chief tax collector and very wealthy. He wanted to meet Jesus, but it was way too crowded. So, he ran ahead to find a tree and climbed up to get a better view.

Photo by Jeff Barbour

When Jesus reached the spot where the man was, he looked up and called him by name, “Zacchaeus, come down out of that tree. I must stay at your house today.”  So, he came down at once and gladly welcomed Jesus into his home.

After spending time with Jesus, Zacchaeus was completely changed. Instead of taking money from people, he began to give it away.

When you think about all the people Jesus talked to, it’s funny how many times He told them to physically move in some way from where they were to somewhere else.

Zacchaeus—come down out of that tree.
James and John—leave your nets with your father and come follow me.
Matthew—leave your money tables and come with me.
Peter—leave your boats and business, and I will teach you to fish for men.
The man at the pool–get up from the pool if you want to be healed.
The man through the roof–get up off your mat.
The woman at the well–go get your husband and bring him here.
The rich young man—go sell what you have and come back.
The blind man—go wash your eyes.

And so many others. Jesus was always telling them to come here or go there, to come down or get up, or to go tell someone else.

Leave your job.
Leave your parents.
Leave your house and your field.
Go tell your family.
Go back to your child and see that she is well.
Go call your servant.

Photo by Jeff Barbour

Jesus knew that in order for people to really hear Him and listen to Him, they needed to break out of their ruts and routines. And the physical act of getting away from something helped them to follow Him.

That’s one reason why getaways, vacations, or retreats can be SOOO beneficial. Jesus is asking you to come away from your house, and follow Him.

Any time Jesus wants us to have a better relationship with Him, He calls us away from something so we can come closer to Him. He tells us to take a step back from what we know, to get away from what is familiar, to let go of whatever is keeping us trapped.

Turn off that screen.
Get up off the couch.
Take a break from your job.
Move away from your desk
Let go of that habit.
Stop listening to that person.
Don’t walk down that road again.

Photo by Jeff Barbour

… and come spend some time with Jesus. See what He has created. Listen to others who are following Him. Share your story with a camper.  Share your story with a fellow counselor.  Breathe some fresh air. Hike up this hill.  Be patient one more hour. Think of something positive to affirm those who are discouraged. Be still and listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit.

When you do these things, you will hear Him say:

I’m glad you decided to come.
I love you and I know exactly what you are facing.
I have so many better plans for you.

Life and freedom and adventure awaits… come, follow me!

Jeff Barbour has been helping people find personal biblical solutions for over 25 years, primarily through listening, encouraging, teaching, writing, creating, brainstorming, coaching, inspiring, affirming, problem-solving, and conflict resolution.  He currently lives in the High Desert with his beautiful and talented musician wife, but they love to frequently visit their grown kids on the East Coast.  His greatest joy is helping others to understand and experience the unconditional love of Christ.  And if you ever need someone to read a book out loud to a group of children, he would eagerly welcome the opportunity.



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1 year ago

A great reminder and beautiful photos. I’ve sensed a need for a time to “go away”. This brings confirmation to that. Thank you!