1997-09-22 - Follow Me
Jesus liked to call upon people to follow him. He did it a lot. I would like to take some Monday's for a while and examine this little phrase and attempt to figure out what some of the implications of this phrase are for us today. I hope to do it devotionally. First lets look at the phrase itself a little. This phrase is not an invitation. This may come as a surprise. Christ did not say, "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men, or go back to your fish fishing." The thought is humorous, but also absurd. It seems this call to follow Christ was a command. In Matthew 4:20 the response is, "and they immediately left their nets." It seems as if they gave it no thought, they just followed. Or Matthew 9:9, Jesus says, "Follow Me, and he rose and followed Him." There appears to be no questioning, no "why should I follow you", no "what is in it for me!" Just a lot of following.
Following Christ does not solve all problems. It was in fact the very beginning of problems for the Apostles. Church tradition presents almost all the Apostles as being martyred for following Christ. This should effect how we present Christ to others. We should avoid presenting the "solve all your problems" Messiah. If you follow Jesus your lawn will be green, your children will turn out the way you want, and all your credit cards will miraculously be paid off. This is not the Christ presented in the Bible. We would be more accurate to tell someone who desires to come to Christ and follow Him, "Welcome, and cheer up, times are going to really get tough now."
But following Christ does provide comfort. Are you following Christ and do you still have struggles? Jesus Christ died for those struggles. The Child of God has the advantage the world can never offer. Everything the Child of God has, even if it is just a little, is a mere taste of the eternal blessings that are promised to them by the blood of Christ. The wicked may have wonderful paintings in their house and fine dainties on their table at night, and the poor child of God might have bare walls and pasta for the sixth night in a row, but what the Child of God has is a taste of Divine mercy. There is much more to come for the Child of God, while the wicked have all they shall ever have now. Following Christ is not trumped up to be easy, many have given their lives for the cause of Christ and the Gospel, but following Christ is the only way to live for the follower of Christ.
A great quote by Jerome. "He is a happy man who is beaten when the stroke is the stroke of love."
Soli Deo Gloria,