As students, we were asked; “What will you do, when you are grown up?”. Or “What do you want to achieve in your life?” We have responded differently…
One said: “I want to be a teacher”; a girl said: “I want to be a doctor”; again someone said: “I want to be police officer”…
I too said something, which I can not remember now.
Time has gone and we have already forgotten our desires. But shortly before or after the high school exams, I again started to think about my future and choose another way and became a priest.
Life is like a labyrinth; you have to choose the right way in the right time. You also should ask questions again and again: What should I choose? Which way is important to me? What can make me successful and happy?…
Joshua too asked a question – we hear it in the reading – whether they want to follow the Lord or any another god. He may be the first leader, who asked for the opinion of the people, with regard to their faith.
Joshua and Jesus have similarity in many matters. For example, their names: In the sources, we find that the name Joshua, comes from the Hebrew word `Yehoshua´. In the book of Nehemiah 8, 17, it is even as `YESHUA´- same as the name Jesus. And both names have the meaning: `The Lord saves´.
They are similar not only in their names, but also in many of their deeds.
Joshua could cross the Jordan (Jos 3), could destroy the walls of Jericho with the faith (Jos 6) and on his word, the sun and the moon stood still (Josh 10, 13). Jesus too crossed the Jordan of death and destroyed the powerful walls of evil. He was strong enough to control nature and work supernatural miracles…
Even though these two men were powerful enough, they never exercised their power in the matter of faith. Rather, they gave people their freedom.
Why they gave such a freedom?
It is because, Faith is God’s gift and man should select it with his freedom. Violence and force have no place here. Without a proper faith one can fail and get a wrong concept on Faith. As a result, he gets a false image of God and will give a false testimony. Jesus and Joshua wanted to avoid that. They needed proper believers and not some forced successors.
Because of that Joshua said, “If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve…”. But Joshua wanted to follow the Lord and the people too stood together with him.
Jesus too asked his disciples, “Do you also wanted to leave?”, as some left him, due to his hard teachings. Peter replied as normal: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”.
We do not know if Peter speaks based on emotion or from his right conviction. Any way this statement reveals some thing important.
It tells us, “Jesus is Lord” and there is no other who can show us the right way. It teaches that, eternal life is the goal of every disciple.
Even as students or as adults, we worry enough about our earthly life and financial future. To follow some goals in life is good and proper.
Just like that, we, the followers of Christ should follow a goal in faith.
We should follow God and live worthy of eternal life.
Yes, that’s also important in this life.
Can we follow these objectives and grow in doing good?
May God bless us all. Amen!