Led More By Jesus

In this special 25th Anniversary article, Arrow leader Mark Buchanan, Class 10, writes about dwelling in Christ so deeply that you see everything through Jesus’ heart. Read Mark’s inspiring perspective and pass this story along for others to benefit from his unique view on this topic.

I had an epiphany in Bolivia.

Christ the Redeemer

It was in the city of Cochabamba. Towering above that city, similar to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, is a 100-foot statue of Jesus. He glows white, as though in transfiguration. His face is set with deep calm and fierce resolve. His arms are stretched wide, both cruciform and welcoming: Come unto me, all you who are weary. I drove with a friend up the precipitous gravel road to the base of the statue and stood at Jesus’ feet, looking up in fear and trembling.

But that wasn’t the epiphany. That came later: for you can enter this Jesus, and abide in him. At his base is a small wooden door, and inside is a spiraling metal staircase that winds up and up, and up. Every 10 feet is a scaffolding of planks where you can rest. Positioned along the body of Jesus, front and back, are portholes from which you can look out on the surrounding countryside – seeing the world from inside Jesus.

Further in and higher up I went, looking out at every turn. Finally I reached the top platform. It is positioned at Jesus’ chest level. Right where his heart would be is a view hole. The statue is positioned in such a way, and at just the right height, that when you look out from the heart of Jesus, you see the entire city.

And that’s when the epiphany happened. I realized, in a breath, that this captures the entire life of discipleship: to dwell in Christ so deeply that you see everything – your city, your neighbors, your colleagues, your friends, your children, your wife, your enemies, everything and everyone – through Jesus’ heart.

This is what Arrow taught me. It helped me see my world, and all within it, from the heart of Christ. It helped me, in Arrow’s own words, to be led more by Jesus.

Overflow

Paul said that if anyone is in Christ he or she is a new creation. One implication of this, he says, is that “we no longer look at anyone from a worldly point of view” (2 Cor. 5:16). Instead, we see everyone as God sees them – someone for whom the Father sent his only son to die, and for whom he raised his son from the dead, and upon whom he longs to bestow all the blessings of his son. And God uses us – you and me – to say all this to people: to lead more like Jesus, and to lead more to Jesus.

But leading more like Jesus and leading more to Jesus becomes empty striving (I know; I’ve tried it) if it is not the overflow of being led by Jesus.

The heart of God’s heart is to call us his beloved. He speaks words of blessing, and favor and love over us. This is the place Jesus leads us to. Everything else follows from that.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Describe a time when you tried to lead like Jesus or lead others to Jesus, but you did it in your own strength, not from the overflow of being led by Jesus.
  2. How do you currently foster your life of abiding in Christ?
  3. Read 2 Cor. 5:11-21, focusing on verse 16. How’s your eyesight? What difference would it make in (pick one, or more) your friendships, conflicts, marriage, work, neighborhood, etc., if you “no longer looked at anyone from a worldly point of view”?

Mark Buchanan

Mark Buchanan, Arrow Class 10, is a pastor, professor, speaker and author of 7 books. He currently lives in Cochrane, Alberta and teaches Pastoral Theology at Ambrose University. He has been married to Cheryl for 30 years. They have 3 grown children.