In Mark 1:16-20 – Jesus calls to some men to come and follow him. Here is he story
16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. 20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.
The bible records that they left what they were doing and they went and followed Christ. As I read the bible I see there are a number of responses to the invitation to Come and follow Jesus.
8 Ways that we can follow Jesus
1) Not Follow
Matthew 19:16-23 The Story of the Rich Young Ruler
16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good[a] Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’[d] and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”[e]
20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.[f] What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
He came to Jesus to find out how to follow Him, but he didnt like the answer to so decided to not follow Christ.
How many people have heard an invitation to follow Christ but have rejected it.
Where is this rich young ruler today?
2) Follow around with Jesus
Mark 5:24-34 – The story of the Woman with the issue of blood
24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”
31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”
32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
Here there were many people following Jesus, but they were following him as disciples, they were following him by simply hanging out with Jesus. Too many people in churches just hang around with Jesus.
3) Follow for a while
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
The church at Galatia had been sold out for the cause of Christ, but over time they have gone off track and were now turning away from following Him. The challenge for people is to not just follow Jesus for a season, but to follow him for the rest of their lives. I love Ps 1 and in Verse 3 it talks about the person who meditates on the word of God – its says of that person that their leaf will not wither – in other words they will stay the course when it comes to following Christ.
4) Follow him for what you get out of it
Acts 19 Contains the story of the Seven sons of Sceva
13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We[a] exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered[b] them, and prevailed against them,[c] so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
Some people follow Christ for what they can get out of him or out of being part of the church. But they don’t want to submit their life to Christ.
5) Almost follow him
Acts 26:28 King Agrippa
28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
Almost following Christ is completely not following him. Almost saved is completely lost. I could list out so many people I know who fit into this category. They almost became a Christian…..but didn’t.
6) Follow him for deceitful purposes
Acts 20:29-32 The Church at Ephesus
29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
Paul was warning the church at Ephesus that there will be some people who will come in to follow Christ that have evil or fleshly objectives. They are not true followers of Christ.
7) Follow him halfheartedly
2 kings 15:1-4 King Azariah
15 In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah the son of Amaziah, king of Judah, became king. 2 He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem. 3 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done, 4 except that the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.
The king was keeping a foot in each camp. He tried to do what was right as he followed after God, but he didn’t fully yield over to Him. He never really totally surrendered to God
8) Follow him with your whole heart
This is really the only option of how we follow Christ. Completely and totally surrendered over to Him and like Acts 2 says – the new converts devoted themselves to the Apostles Teachings.
2 Kings 22: 1-2
Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
3 Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant.
King David Ps 63:8
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.
So how do you respond to the invitation to come and follow Jesus? Reality is that we all fit into one of the 8 categories above.
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