Lately I have been reading the gospels and reflecting on what it truly means to follow Jesus. Some would cite social action and others would emphasize careful study and prayer. We can all agree that both of these are needed…and abundantly so (James 2:17). Even surpassing these things, however is a task that is even more difficult. It is something that we must cling to in order to combat the negativity that the world is throwing at us. It is something that gives an answer to the doubting spirit and energy to the weathered soul. We find examples of what this concept is in the descriptions of who followed Jesus.
We all may know about the 12 disciples. These men followed the Savior for the full length of His ministry. What about the other followers described in the Gospels? Well, when we look at Scripture we find that, over the course of His ministry, Jesus gained a large following. People flocked to him as they witnessed and heard about great miracles that he had performed. They followed after Jesus touched them and commanded them to walk when walking had never been a possibility. Mute people gained the ability to tell stories of His good works. People followed Jesus because of the great things He had done for them and the eloquent words that He spoke.
But… what about the disciples? When Jesus called them to follow, He had never done anything for them. He had not given them a healing touch or had never preached an exciting message to gain their applause. He just simply said “follow me”. So, the concept that needs to be grasped is obedience for obedience sake.
I don’t know about you but I want to be one of the twelve. I want to follow Jesus through the exciting, boring, everyday, and extraordinary. Not only because He has done so much for me…but simply because He said “follow”.