In the year 27 A.D. Jesus appointed the 12 disciples, shared the Sermon on the Mount, healed a Centurion’s servant, raised the dead, rebuked a storm, sent out the disciples, fed the 5000, and walked on the sea. In John 6 one year later many disciples desert Jesus. His teaching was hard to follow. He asked that the people step into a new way, a way that challenged the people to give up control of their own life and follow Jesus.
What about those that didn’t desert him? They accepted the truth and believed in Jesus. They were willing to follow Jesus even if it meant dying. This crowd included the 12 Disciples, but there were many others that stepped up to the challenge to be something different, unique, and saintly. These people were willing to do whatever it took to follow Jesus.
Being willing to follow someone you believe in, blindly trust, and willingly would die for is what I call Followship. Many of these hundreds of people remain nameless, faceless followers of Jesus Christ. Their followship laid the groundwork for the church. We can learn a lot from their willingness to follow no matter the cost. Why do you follow Christ? Is it for you, or is it for Him? Are you willing to follow Jesus no matter the cost?
Do you remember the childhood game “Follow the Leader”? I remember as a child how fun it was to play that game. We would laugh and play for hours just blindly following whoever was leading the pack. We would try to mimic every movement of the leader no matter how ridiculous it seemed. Adults do it too. We just don’t call it a game. We call it education, networking, building friendships, and leading a family – to name a few. All through the New Testament Jesus wanted to play follow the leader too. The difference is that Jesus wasn’t playing a game. He was revealing to the world a new way, a better way, the only way to have abundant life.
New English Translation (NET)
19 He said to them, “Follow me, and I will turn you into fishers of people.”
Lets take some time to run through many of the things that Jesus calls us do as the follow the leader
Listed below is not a complete list, but a list of some of the follow me statements of Jesus. This is a list to help give you an idea of how following Jesus will transform everything about you.
1. Repent—Matthew 4:17, Luke 13:3
2. Let not your heart be troubled—John 14:27, John 16:33, Matthew 6:25-26, Philippians 4:6-7
3. Follow me—Matthew 4:19
4. Rejoice—Matthew 5:12, (Also 2 Corinthians 6:10, 12:10, James 1:2-4)
5. Let your light shine—Matthew 5:16
6. Honor God’s law—Matthew 5:17-19
7. Be reconciled—Matthew 5:24-25
8. Do not commit adultery—Matthew 5:27-30
9. Keep your word—Matthew 5:33-37
10. Go the second mile—Matthew 5:38-42
11. Love your enemies—Matthew 5:44
12. Be perfect—Matthew 5:48
13. Practice secret disciplines (giving, praying, fasting)—Matthew 6:1-18
14. Lay up treasures in heaven—Matthew 6:19-21
15. Seek first the kingdom of God—Matthew 6:33
16. Judge not—Matthew 7:1-2
17. Do not throw your pearls to pigs—Matthew 7:6
18. Ask, seek, and knock—Matthew 7:7-8
19. Do unto others—Matthew 7:12
20. Choose the narrow way—Matthew 7:13-14
21. Beware of false prophets—Matthew 7:15
22. Pray for those who spread the word—Matthew 9:37-38
23. Be as shrewd as serpents—Matthew 10:16. (Also Romans 16:19)
24. Fear God. Do not fear man— Matthew 10:28 (Also Luke 12:4-5)
25. Listen to God’s voice—Matthew 11:15, 13:9, 13:43, Mark 4:23, Luke 14:35, 1 Kings 19:11-13
26. Take my yoke—Matthew 11:29
27. Honor your parents—Matthew 15:4
28. Beware of false teaching—Matthew 16:6, 11-12
29. Deny yourself—Luke 9:23 (Also Matthew 10:38 and Mark 8:34)
30. Do not despise little ones—Matthew 18:10
31. Go to Christians who offend you—Matthew18:15 (Also Galatians 6:1)
32. Forgive offenders—Matthew 18:21-22 (Also Proverbs 19:11)
33. Beware of covetousness—Luke 12:15
34. Honor marriage—Matthew 19:6, 19:9
35. Lead by being a servant—Matthew 20:26-28
36. Make the church a house of prayer for all nations—Mark 11:17
37. Pray in faith—Matthew 21:21-22, John 15:7
38. Bring in the poor—Luke 14:12-14
39. Render unto Caesar—Matthew 22:19-21
40. Love the Lord—Matthew 22:37-38
41. Love your neighbor—Matthew 22:39
42. Be born again—John 3:7
43. Await my return—Matthew 24:42-44
44. Celebrate the Lord’s Supper—Matthew 26:26- 27
45. Watch and pray—Matthew 26:41
46. Keep my commandments—John 14:15
47. Feed my sheep—John 21:15-16
48. Make and baptize disciples—Matthew 28:19
49. Teach disciples to obey—Matthew 28:20
50. Receive God’s power—Luke 24:49
Source Info: (David Ahl 2010)
To follow Christ is to be like Christ and that is non-negotiable in the church. We see Christ and we want to be like Christ. We are being conformed in the image of Christ. We study His word so that His image will take root in our hearts, in our minds, and in our lives. We want to be like Christ. Our lives should resemble Christ because that’s who we are following. Does your character resemble the character of Christ? Is Jesus represented in your thoughts, actions, reactions, and motivations?
As we are following Christ others will follow us. The second part of followship is revealed in who is following you and what their character reveals. We follow Jesus and others follow us because of Jesus. We introduce them to Jesus and they begin to be followers. Is this a reality in your life?
- Devote an extra 30 minutes a day to the word and prayer. Pray specifically that God will use you to reveal his love to others.
- Read through this list at least once a week and pray that the character of Jesus will become more evident in your life.
- Pray that our church continue to become a more complete representation of Christ’s love.