Let’s cut to the chase. We are living in troubling times. Right now in California, for example, pastors are being threatened with fines and imprisonment for holding church services indoors. Yet, riots and demonstrations are not restricted but encouraged. How is that possible in our nation? And many Christians, who should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder for the truth, are scattered like autumn leaves afraid of their own shadows. Is this what following Jesus is all about? And what does following Jesus in real-time mean today?
Is it an emotional decision we make one time that lets Jesus season our life for the better?
Or is it, like Bonhoeffer said, a “call to come and die”?
Or maybe something in-between these two extremes?
Whatever it means, those following Jesus in the Scriptures seemed to have different lives than we do today. And why is that?
How Did the Early Disciples Follow Jesus?
In this message, we will look at the accounts in Matthew where Jesus invited those He encountered to “follow Him” and see what that actually meant. And I think you’ll find it is more than a simple mental assent to a moral code or set of personal principles. No, following Jesus is a life-altering event that literally changes everything— about everything.
Consider the following:
Matthew 4:18-20 – And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
Does this sound like what happens when we decide to follow Jesus? But there’s more…
Matthew 4:21-22 – Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
And there are dozens of more examples that show us clearly what following Jesus in real-time meant back then, and also means today. So join with us as we discover more about this life with Christ and the joy that comes from following Him.