“One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind!” These were the words spoken by astronaut Neil Armstrong when he stepped off the ladder of the Apollo 11 lunar module and became the first person to walk on the moon.
Physically, it was indeed one small step – after all many people have taken the step from the bottom rung of a ladder to the ground. But it was one small step with high stakes and huge implications – after all, this was the one small step when someone actually walked on the moon for the first time. This one small step fulfilled the dream (communicated by John F. Kennedy) of putting a man on the moon and effectively ended the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States.
This one small step was a big deal! But how does it connect with following Jesus? The connection is all about one small step (or maybe a series of steps) with incredibly high stakes and eternal implications. The connection is about followers of Jesus taking one small step to help someone else take a next step toward right relationship with God and following Jesus.
In part 1 (Footsteps to Follow) of CCC’s One Small Step series, Jesus had an encounter as he passed through a town called Jericho with a guy named Zacchaeus. In the encounter, both Jesus and Zacchaeus take steps that connect to steps people can take today.
Take a few minutes to read Luke 19:1-10 and the next step of considering the following questions about how one small step can have incredibly high stakes and eternal implications:
- Are you familiar with the historical statement, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”?
- How would you describe this as one small step with huge implications?
- Why do you think the “normal of our days” make it so challenging to be aware of opportunities to connect and engage with those around us?
- In what ways do people who are “curious” about spiritual matters put themselves in positions to see Jesus?
- What are some reasons you think people who are curious about spiritual matters aren’t interested in Jesus?
- What steps are you willing to take to put yourself in a position to discover more about who Jesus is and what it means to follow him?
- What steps are you willing to take to help someone else be in a position to discover more about who Jesus is and what it means to follow him?
- Jesus pushed pause to notice Zacchaeus – what keeps you from pushing pause to notice those around you?
- What keeps you from engaging in peoples’ lives and inviting them into a growing relationship with Jesus (the way Jesus engaged and invited Zacchaeus)?
- What next steps will you take a step to notice & engage someone to take a next step toward following Jesus and right relationship with God?
Jesus passed through. Zacchaeus was curious and wanted to see Jesus. Motivated by curiosity, Zacchaeus ran ahead of the crowd and even climbed a tree to put himself in a position to see Jesus. As Jesus passed through, he pushed pause, noticed Zacchaeus, and invited himself to Zacchaeus’ home (actually he invited himself into Zacchaeus’ life and Zacchaeus into the Jesus way of life).
Today, there are people at every step point along this path. There are those who are curious and need to take a step to put themselves in a position to see Jesus. There are those who need to push pause in the normal of their days to notice others and invite themselves into a moment of someone else’s life. There are those who need to be invited into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and there are those who need to take a step to invite.
Whatever the one small step is specifically, it is a big deal – incredibly high stakes and eternal implications.
Today is Monday – make it a day where you take a step to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.