An early episode of the new Disney + series, The Mandalorian, features a scene where the main protagonist (aptly called the Mandalorian or “Mando”) is reunited underground with other mandalorians (bounty hunters). During their interaction, it becomes clear that one of the founding sayings of the group is: “this is the way.”
This got me thinking...
Two millennia ago, a group of people banded together in much different circumstances than the ones brilliantly portrayed in the Mandalorian. Unlike bounty hunters, however, these people were the hunted and not the hunters. Their circumstances were also anything but fiction.
In fact, some lost their lives following “the way.”
Now, back in the present, faith gets defined in such ways that are not only unhelpful but also untrue. As strange as it sounds to modern ears, these followers of “the way” claimed to follow something they saw with their own eyes. In other words, this was not wishful thinking, or believing in something unseen. Their claim was that they were following someone they saw raised from the dead.
While it IS possible this was all “made up,” while it IS possible that all those who lost their lives for this were in collusion with one another, let’s not call anything about it “blind.” For these people knew exactly what they were doing, one way or the other. And in the end, this little group of poor, rag-tag, followers of “the way,” eventually outlasted the entire Roman Empire.
Not bad for a group following something made up. Or as John Ortberg has pointed out, isn’t it strange that we name our kids Paul and our dogs Nero in present day?
To be sure, my aim is not to become preachy writing this blog. But as Christmas approaches, I also want to shed light, even a momentary one, on the claims of those that followed Jesus when Jesus walked the earth.
Here are some questions to consider:
Why were some of the earliest followers willing to sacrifice their lives?
Why did one of the Gospel accounts share that some doubted Jesus’ resurrection?
Why are people all over the globe still willing to suffer, even die, for this message?
Why did Jesus have to come in the first place?
I have been contemplating these questions this season, and invite you to as well.
Is this the way?
Is he worth following?
These are still the questions of life.
My prayer is that some of you choose to examine these questions in 2020. Jesus welcomes all.
And to all, whether you are of faith, a different faith altogether, or even questioning all the above, I wish you and yours health, safety, and happiness in 2020.
Editor's note: Baldinbusiness is a place where all ideas are welcome. Therefore, I won't shy away from topics like faith. Still, the primary focuses of the blog are leadership and personal growth. My aims are to be authentic, vulnerable, and encouraging. Success is hearing readers tell me that the blog helped them in some form or fashion. If you want more encouragement in your life, please subscribe so new posts can come directly into your inbox. Subscribers benefit me by helping me understand who my audience is, and by not relying so heavily on social media "likes." Throughout the process of posting BIB on social, I have discovered that many of the people hitting "like" do not even read the content of what they are "liking." That is probably a post for 2020 in itself. The point is that I want to create content that helps and encourages those actually reading this blog. Thanks for help to that end.