The last few days I’ve found myself reminded of and talking about a man who I recognise as a pioneer for Jesus. This man is Jean Vanier.
The word pioneer is particularly relevant for me, and I’m appreciative of the steps this man took to follow what Jesus told him to do.
He tells his own story in the video above, much better than I could. What impacts me is the simplicity with which he followed the leading of Jesus.
It was in 1964, 53 years ago, that Jean Vanier bought a house just outside of Paris and moved in with the two other men who he mentions in the video. 53 years later, there are 147 L’Arche communities in 35 countries.
But it’s not the number of communities that impresses me. It’s that I’m convinced that Jean Vanier didn’t follow the lead of Jesus intending to create an international organisation of 147 communities. I doubt that has ever been in his mind. I think he simply did what Jesus told him to do; to move into a home with two men who had mental and physical disabilities. That impresses me. Simple obedience. What fruit Jesus has been able to produce through this man who is a true branch of the True Vine!
And through this example we see exactly what happens through the Life of Jesus.
Jesus is all about multiplication.
Where Jesus is, there is multiplication. Because as he, the Living Bread, is shared, he multiplies in others. There is an incredible increase whenever Jesus is shared.
The woman at the well receives Jesus. Multiplication takes place. The people from her town receive him too.
Jesus disciples receive Jesus. After Jesus ascension, there is rapid multiplication of those who also receive Jesus through his disciples.
Simple obedience to the instruction of Jesus seems to bring about multiplication of the Life of Jesus himself in others.
Perhaps Jesus has said or is saying something to you? Follow the example of Jean Vanier. Do what Jesus says. It doesn’t matter how small it seems. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand how it’s going to work out. And it doesn’t matter that you don’t have a long term goal or plan to work toward.
It matters that “Whatever he tells you, do.”
Eat the Living Bread, drink the Living Water.