by Rex Yancey

The Danger of Following at a Distance
Rex Yancey
Matthew 26:57-58, 69-75

How close are you to the Lord? I don't mean spatially. In terms of space we are all close to him. This is true because of the imminence of God.

-In Psalm 139, the psalmist writes about the 'everywhereness' of God Paul said to the Athenians ''He is not far from each of us.'' In Genesis 28 when Jacob had the ladder dream he said, ''Surely the Lord is in this place and I knew it not.''

In terms of space, we are all close to him.

I do mean spiritually. Can one be close to him spatially and at the same time be far from him spiritually?

Jesus said, ''This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.'' One can be close yet far at the same time.

Beth Midler sings a popular song entitled ''From a distance.'' The lyrics have more New Age Theology than Christian theology. But these lyrics suggests that God is watching us from a distance. I expect he is a lot closer to us than what we might think.

Jesus has called us to be followers. He called Matthew, Andrew and Phillip to follow him. A disciple can be summed up as one who follows Jesus. But what happens when we follow him at a distance?

The night of Jesus arrest, Peter followed him at a distance. This story becomes more interesting when we realize how many professing Christians are following him at a distance today.

They are not renouncing Jesus. They are just not enthusiastic and excited about following him. They have retreated to the four walls of the church or even retreated away from church because of the pressure of following him closely.

Peter shows us the danger of following at a distance.


Jesus didn't do what he thought he would do. He had just cut a man's ear off defending Jesus. He thought Jesus would overthrow the Roman yoke and sit on David's throne. Judas sold him for thirty pieces of silver to push him to announce that he was the Messiah.

Peter followed him at ...

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