Who are you following?
The first ministry charge that Jesus gave was simple and straight to the point. It wasn’t attend my “Church”, he had none. It wasn’t become “A Christian”, it wasn’t a term he was used to. His first charge was very simple, straightforward and still relevant today – “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” What Jesus looked for, and is still looking for is not congregation members, it’s followers. In converse, the question to you is not who is your pastor? Which ministry are you committed to? Where do you worship or where is your warship. The key question, is “who are you following?”
Before you rush to answer and say – “Jesus of course”, let’s quickly lay down what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
1. First, the parameters identifying followers is quite clear, even from his first statement and charge. – “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”. This implies that the proof of following is what you are made into! You cannot claim to be following Jesus, if after a few years, you have no record of becoming a fisher of men yourself. It means the proof of your followership, is that you also have become someone creating followers with followers. It’s “Follow me, and”, it’s not follow me, maybe, or follow me, or. A direct consequence of lining up behind Jesus is having a few people lined up behind you, and a few people lined up behind them. Let’s be very clear, if nobody is following you, you are not following Jesus! Matthew 4:19.
2. You can easily tell what is priority to a man, by listening to his introduction and his closure. Great sales men have always been taught to – “Tell them what you want to tell them, Tell them, then tell them what you told them”. Jesus started up by asking men to follow him, and ended with a charge! Matthew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore[a] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
It’s pretty clear isn’t it? Follow me, then he closes and say go out and disciple nations, in simple terms. Go do to others, what I did to you, and don’t stop, because I won’t stop being with you. Don’t miss the boat, it’s not enough to go to church on Sunday, love your pastor, or hoop when he preaches, who are you following?
3. Following Jesus is not something you can do, without knowing. The Bible states that the way to life is vigorous and requires total attention. The path to life is narrow and few find it! The scripture is full of verses like this – Mark 8:34 “If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and [b]lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and [[c]joining Me as a disciple and siding with My party] follow [d]with Me [continually, cleaving steadfastly to Me]” Or this Luke 14:26-27. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple”, for clearer perspective, the amplified version says – “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [[a]in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters—[yes] and even his own life also—he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple.
If you really want the verses above to sink in well, just go back to them and replace the word disciple with Christian! Jesus never called his disciples Christians, the world first called the disciples Christians in Antioch – Acts 11:26. Honestly, I believe the word Christian waters down what it means to follow Jesus or be His disciple!
4. Don’t say your are following Jesus, or even one of his followers – me for instance, when you are not! Matthew 15:8-9 gives a clear perspective – “These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me. Uselessly do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men”. God is not interested in lip worship or lip service! You can follow Jesus or his disciples with your lips, while your heart is following your belly or the commandments of men! Jesus in a classical piece showing the end from the beginning alluded to the fact, that not all who agree with His lordship will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who following him into doing the fathers will. Are you following?
I boldly declare that I follow Jesus, the priorities of my life and the things I do bear me witness. Those who follow and watch my life also bear me witness. I have not apprehended, but I am constantly behind, pressing towards the goal of Christlikeness – willing to participate in his sufferings, in his shame and hoping for his inheritance and his glory!
Following Jesus is not as simple as a twitter following! Neither is following me. It doesn’t matter where you worship, or where you are located. It doesn’t make sense to believe that 5,000 of you can be following one person, that is not the kind of following Jesus taught. It matters if you are following behind in the line of Jesus! Is the person you are following really following? Who are you following?