“And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)
What does it mean to follow Jesus? There are 82 references in the Gospels to people following Jesus.
I believe there is some confusion today as to what it means to follow Jesus. What does it mean to follow Jesus? Accept his salvation? Believe in him? Be baptized? Walk the aisle? Shake the preacher’s hand? Fill out a card? Join a church?
1. To come after in sequence, order of time, etc.
2. To go or come after; move behind in the same direction
3. To accept as a guide or leader; accept the authority of or give allegiance to
4. To conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey
5. To imitate or copy
The story of Jesus calling the disciples to follow him fascinates me. If this were to happen today and these men, Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew, were your sons. You would be so concerned thinking they ran off and joined some religious cult.
There was a hunger in the hearts of these young men for something real. There was a hunger to live for something greater than them. They knew it wasn’t in politics. I think they had given up on religion. But there was something about Jesus.
The Call to Follow Jesus:
It begins with an invitation from Jesus. We read this story in scripture and don’t think much about it, but to leave everything behind and follow Jesus was a big deal.
• Follow you where?
• How long is this going to take?
• Should we pack something?
• Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
• Does this job pay anything?
• Do you have an address that we can give to our families?
Second, the call to follow Jesus doesn’t require qualifications.
There is nothing desirable in these men. No apparent qualification. Example that God uses the ordinary. He doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.
Third, the call to follow Jesus requires a decision.
Requires simple obedience – imagine if these men had refused Jesus’s request! Imagine the implications in their own lives, but think about how it would have affected others, and even the future of Christ’s church.
These men had a decision to make. Were they going to make themselves available?
Think about the power of the decision. They didn’t say, “We’ll, I guess we can try it out.” They weren’t part time followers. They were all in!
Today’s Challenge: Consider the question, “Are you all in? Have you fully surrendered your life to follow Jesus? Have you left your old life behind in pursuit of all Jesus has for you? If not, today is a great day to make a new commitment to follow Christ. There is no better life.
- Do you think most Christians today understand what it means to follow Jesus?
- Practically speaking, what does it look like to follow Jesus everyday?
- What stands in the way of us making a full commitment to follow Christ?
Recommended Resource: Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus by Kyle Idleman
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