In His Steps is a movie that challenges believers of the Christian faith of what it means to be a follower of Jesus, to live with obedience, faith and love.
A homeless man named Jack searches through a community, looking for work, a lead that will allow himself to get his life back on track. But he soon becomes more and more confused as he approaches people of the Christian faith for help and is rejected, repeatedly. To him it seemed to go against what he had ever known about Jesus, God himself who laid down his life for all sinners.
Jack was ill and was in great need of help, so he pursued the church, interrupting a service, challenging the congregation on what it means to be a follower of Jesus. He shared about how he was continually turned away by people who identified themselves as followers of Jesus, some of those people were sitting amongst the congregation and even the Pastor himself! And then, just before falling ill to his death, in front of the church, Jack the homeless man said, “What would Jesus do? I don’t know, but I don’t think you do either“. Bam! What a thing to say to a group of believers in Jesus!
This traumatic event really spoke to the hearts of the Pastor and a few members of the congregation. The Pastor preached that living In His Steps means obedience, faith and love and that believers should be following Christ’s example. The congregation consisted primarily of people who were comfortable having their Christian faith consist of simply going to church every Sunday, so he talked to them about radical change for the way they had been doing things. He declared a pledge that he was going to participate in, and wanted all of them to participate in, to do nothing for an entire year without first asking yourself, what would Jesus do?
This pledge didn’t go over too well, only speaking to the hearts of a handful of people, which put the Pastor at odds with the elders, and people from the congregation. But this didn’t deter him or the others that agreed to participate. At least not until life continued and challenges presented themselves. Rachel, a young girl, aspiring to be a professional singer, was really put to the test when she was offered a record label, an answer to her dreams, but whose dreams were they? What path of life would that lead her down? Was it the path that Jesus had wanted for her? And Jasper, a young man who was spending so much of his time and energy writing a book, came to the realization that maybe the content of the book wasn’t something that honored God or would be something that Jesus would want for him to be writing about.
In His Steps truly shows how easy it can be to become a comfortable Christian. Feeling secure in our faith because of our personal acceptance of Christ, but then not feeling the need to follow Christ’s example in the life that He lived, helping and serving, living sacrificially. Living in a way that may challenge us, ask of us to give more of ourselves than we want to, or to change the direction of the path of our lives that we set out for ourselves because quite possibly it isn’t the direction that God has intended for us…for Him.
The character Rachel sings a song at the end of this movie, In His Steps, that makes a good point about our lives here. The lyrics are something like, “When you see a great Picasso, Da Vinci or Rembrandt, do you ever sing the praises of their brush? It’s the master of the masterpiece who deserves the praises… So don’t praise me if I do something wonderful… Give glory to the Master, through His hands it was done.”
In His Steps is an incredibly family friendly movie, which has huge potential to bring about challenging conversations between family, friends and congregations. These conversations might just be conversations God has been wanting us to have. In His Steps asks us what it means to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus, and what it means to do what it is Jesus would want us to do.