Come follow me…Matthew 4:19
Seems like a simple thought doesn’t it. So many talk about following Jesus but I listened to a great speaker recently who put some powerful truth to those words and what it really means to be a disciple or follower of Jesus. The whole short talk left me feeling like I’ve got some thinking, praying and changing to do. Here’s what I learned…
In the Sermon on the Mount in chapters 5,6 and 7 of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus spells out the new law of the kingdom. He teaches and preaches and explains. He highlights important things we need to do to follow him like be humble, love our enemy and live without judging others. He also calls us to focus on the condition of our hearts. When we decide to follow Jesus we think different, look different and act different. We become different than the rest of the world. That’s pretty big stuff for most of us who spend a lot of time trying to blend in, go with the flow and not make a spectacle of ourselves but the truth is, if we really want to follow Jesus, we’re going to be different. Chances are, others are gonna notice our differences and call us out on them; what will we do?
In the next three chapters of Matthew’s Gospel Jesus shifts from teaching to application. We can read the ten miracle stories where Jesus showed he had power and authority over everything. He had power over disease, death, wind, evil, political structures and anything the evil one could stir up. (He still does!) In a mighty way, he took his message from the classroom to the streets and showed us what being his follower looked like. Come follow me said the man who had no place to lay his head. I’m so incredibly thankful that many did just that and paved the way for all disciples to follow.
The speaker made a powerful point that made me squirm in my chair a little when he said the only thing stopping us from being a true follower of Jesus (one of those folks who is different) is excuses. We make all kinds of them and we try to justify so many things because we aren’t so good at sacrifice, suffering and following him which means taking up our cross. I’ve said dozens of times before, I’m much better at dragging my crosses than picking them up! After giving all this some thought I realized it was true…I was full of excuses that prevented me from completely following Jesus.
The speaker also mentioned that we can’t follow Jesus part time. There is no position for part time disciple…truly following him means reconfiguring everything, detaching from things of the world and living to please the Father and not people. Phew, that’s tuff! I have a better understanding now about the rich young man and the narrow gate! The question is, do I want what’s on the other side of that narrow gate? I’ve been wondering why I’m so attached to being comfortable and accepted? If I know I am God’s beloved why is it so hard to detach from worldly things even though I know he only desires my holiness and sainthood and will provide for my every need? We grumble, complain and worry about the state of affairs swirling around us but yet we cling so hard to the world and resist being the kind of “different” it takes to enter Paradise. I think before I can truly “Come Follow Him” I have some questions to pray about.
A Seed To Plant: Which of the questions above do you need to stop and think about a bit?
Blessings on your day!
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