Whom Do You Follow?
The vision statement of our mission is “So that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus.” Which awakens in me questions such as: What does it mean to truly follow Jesus? Does my life look like a true follower of Jesus? In the past I have written several posts on being a true follower, and hope to add some more in the months to come.
How many Twitter followers do you have? How many do you follow?
What celebrity do you follow?
Or do you follow the crowd?
Jesus used the word “follow” repeatedly. Did He mean the same thing as following on Twitter when He called his disciples to “follow me”?
To Simon, James and John: “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5:10,11)
To Levi (Matthew): “’Follow me,’ Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5:27-28)
To His disciples: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’” (Matthew 16:24)
Leave everything? Deny themselves? I think Jesus meant a little more than a Twitter follow. Here are some definitions and synonyms for “follow”:
To follow: to go or come after; move behind in the same direction; to accept as a guide or leader; accept the authority of or give allegiance to; to conform to, comply with; to obey; to imitate or copy
When Jesus said “follow me,” he called his disciples—and us—to “do as I say and do as I do.”
So what did Jesus say it looks like to follow Him? Some pretty challenging things:
Love others by laying down your life for them. (John 15:12-13)
Don’t worry. Trust Me. (Matthew 6:25-34)
Don’t be afraid. (Matthew 5:36)
Give up your life for my sake. (Mark 8:35)
Turn the other cheek; go the extra mile. (Matthew 5:38-41)
Be completely humble and gentle. (Ephesians 4:2)
Be holy as I am holy. (1 Peter 1:14-16)
So the question begs to be asked: How am I doing? Am I a true follower of Jesus?
Doing these things Jesus mentions doesn’t make me a true follower. Rather, the reality of truly following Jesus will cause them to become more and more true in my life.
I know reading these words from Jesus Himself causes me to stop, to evaluate, to repent, to thank God for grace and mercy, to ask Him to keeping working in me so that I increasingly become such a true follower!
What about you? Do any of these words from Jesus reveal areas of needed growth as a true follower?C2013 Judy Douglass