What role does observation play in following Jesus? What about in leadership? Friendship? Parenthood?
I want to look at what the disciples did in John 2.1-12 in order to find some answers.
How to Be Better at Observation
Stay close to the leader
In John 2 we see the disciples are following Jesus. They are going to a wedding with Jesus and his mom. They are there — right with Jesus. Where are we? Are we right with Jesus? Or are we off in our own world, doing our own thing? Are we following the selfless One? Or are we letting selfishness win?
How can we be better at observation without watching carefully? We know that the disciples were pretty good at observation because what Jesus did in their midst caught their attention. They noticed what he did. It didn’t get past them. That makes me wonder about us. As we follow Jesus, are we all that good at observation? Or is our attention split as we pursue our own ends and desires, the American Dream, our comfort, our political agendas, etc.?
Be a lifelong learner
The observation by the the disciples led to learning. They were with Jesus, they saw what he did, and then they believed in him. That word “believed” is better translated as “trusted.” Because of what they saw they trusted Jesus and wanted to learn from him more. As we do this observation thing today, are we willing to continue to learn and to grow? Or are we cool with being stagnant? Are we more inclined to maintain the status quo? Or are we willing to trust Jesus and learn from him no matter what he is teaching?
Continue to follow
In John 2.12 it says that the disciples followed Jesus to his next tour stop. Their opportunities for observation would continue. As tempting as it might have been, they didn’t stay at the place where Jesus did his first sign. They kept following him. Where ever Jesus went, they followed. Are we willing to do that too? Or are we satisfied with staying where we first met Jesus, where we first saw him doing something great? Jesus doesn’t call us to stay where he once was; he says follow me. Are we willing to?
Friends, observation is key to following Jesus. We need to be near Jesus so we can see what he is doing. Then we need to pay attention to what it is that he is doing. We also need to grow and learn as a result of our observation. And lastly, no matter what, we need to keep following Jesus.
But these same principles apply to other relationships too. We need to be close to people, pay attention to them, grow because of them, and continue to stay close to them. If we do these these things, then we’ll be better friends, family members, spouses, parents, etc.
Do you have any thoughts about the power of observation as a follower of Jesus? Let me know in the comments below!