The expression “follow me” would be readily understood by Jews of Jesus’ day as implying a call to become the permanent disciple of a teacher. When he spoke those words initially, they did not misunderstand His call. As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers; Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately, they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-20)
The command Jesus gave them that day still rings true for us today. “Follow me.” He did not begin with things we might have expected, like read your Bibles more, or pray more, or worship God more, or serve God more, or tell others about me, or start a church. He said simply, “Follow me.” On twenty different occasions Jesus said, “Follow me.” Whether you have been a believer for 50 years or 50 minutes, the command is the same. It sounds so basic, so simplistic, but make no mistake—simple doesn’t mean easy. Belief is easy; following requires discipline. Jesus Christ sacrificed everything so that we could be forgiven, become His followers, and spend eternity in His presence. As Oswald Chambers said, “One step forward in obedience is worth years of study about it.”
Discipleship has never been a popular product. We live in a materialistic, consumer-driven world. People expect freedom to choose. People want satisfaction guaranteed. Jesus replies, “Follow me”. He isn’t looking for customers. Jesus desires disciples. Salvation is free, but discipleship costs everything we have. Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross (daily) and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) God wants each one of us to grow to Christian maturity. This cannot be compartmentalized into tidy sections of my life. Every facet of my life must be surrendered to God’s call. Each day is another step deeper into the waters of His call. Each step should draw me closer to Him, worshiping more deeply and serving more selflessly. The end goal of discipleship can be nothing less that being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
May we be willing to place our lives in the hands of the Master and follow His calling daily. May we give wings to our faith, to obediently venture into uncharted waters. May the Lord fill us with a passion for His things, and may we thirst for His voice as we journey along the path of becoming a disciple.
Pastor Mel Reddy is the Lead Pastor at The Sanctuary