Over and over in the NT, Jesus told those He met to “follow me.” And this is what he commands us today, as well. This is a vital part of what it means to be a Christian.
In New Testament times, When a rabbi asked someone to follow him, it was an incredible honor. This invitation was an offer of unlimited access to the rabbi—a chance to become a perpetual student. It not only gave them complete access to ask the teacher probing questions, but they also lived alongside the rabbi, experiencing firsthand how the Scriptures should be lived out.
Becoming a disciple required an unwavering commitment to submit to the rabbi’s authority, but it also meant that everyday was full of opportunities to learn new things about God.
Disciples went where their rabbi went. They slept where their rabbis slept. They ate what their rabbi ate. And largely, they shared their rabbi’s passions and beliefs.
As a rabbi, this is the kind of relationship Jesus invited the disciples to experience. For them, following Jesus included sharing his enthusiasm for declaring the good news. It meant learning and growing and becoming like the rabbi.
To truly follow Christ means we become like Jesus. To follow Christ means we do not follow anything or anyone else. To follow Jesus means that we make him the “Lord” of our lives. Jesus becomes the most important thing in our lives.
Listen again to the simple, but life-changing words of Jesus: “Follow me.” It’s a command that comes over and over again in Scripture. In Genesis, God called Abraham and Sarah to leave their family, their home, their identity, and follow God into an unfamiliar land.
God called Moses, and later, Joshua, to follow Him into new territory.
God called the Israelites in the wilderness to follow the Holy Spirit’s direction in the form of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
God called Gideon to follow and to trust him, even though in the natural, he didn’t have the resources to be successful.
God called Mary to follow and to miraculously give birth to the Son of God.
God called a group of fisherman to lay down their nets and follow Jesus.
Since the beginning, God has been calling ordinary people like you and me to follow.
The call of God for every believer is to follow…and this is where we struggle. So much of the time we want God to follow us. I’ve heard people say, “As long as God is behind me, I’ll be ok.” Behind you? Is that where God wants to be in our lives? Behind us? I don’t think so.
Those first followers of Jesus literally, physically left where they where they were and followed Him. They left their nets, their boat, their business, and followed. Matthew left his deceitful tax collecting practice to follow. They left their priorities, their plans, their appointments, and other interests to follow Jesus.
When we follow Jesus we do so with a sense of abandon. We are leaving the old life behind. Old values, old sins, old pursuits, and follow a new way of living. God may ask you to abandon old plans and dreams. He’ll call you to leave a self-centered life for a Christ-centered life.
Today’s Challenge: Let’s begin praying a new prayer. “Lord, help me to follow, lead me, guide me, show me the way. Wherever you go, that’s where I’ll go. However you want me to live, that’s how I’ll live. What you value, I’ll value. What you love, I’ll love.”
Follow on social:
Click here to learn how you can start your own podcast.