John 21:18-22 says. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.”
Jesus essentially told Peter, “What business is it of yours what someone else does? YOU follow Me.” You see, many people, like Peter here, like to divert. They want to avoid the question at hand. When confronted with Jesus Christ, they want to bring up “Pygmies in Africa” or “If God exists, why is there evil” or “My parents were Christians - and hypocrites” or “I prayed once, and nothing happened.” You know what Jesus’ answer is going to be? So what?! YOU follow Me! All these things do not matter. Education, upbringing, skin color, handicap, wealth, etc., etc. - it just doesn’t matter.
It’s true, some have a much greater advantage and more opportunity than others, but Jesus wades through all of the excuses, pushes them aside, and then asks, “Will YOU follow Me?” The Greek word for “follow” here is made up of two words: a particle of union, and a road. Jesus asks each of us - individually - “Will you be united with me, joined with me, on this narrow road, this highway, that leads to life eternal?” Jesus calls on you today to follow Him. He is standing at the door of your heart, and knocking to be let in. Will you follow Him? As the apostles before you, respond immediately. Drop your nets, leave the boat, and follow Him now (Mt 4:19-22). Leave all, rise up, and follow Him (Lk 5:27-29). Don’t hesitate. You may - or you may not - get another opportunity. This day may be your last. Don’t put off following Jesus. Don’t make excuses for why you can’t (Lk 9:57-62). There will be no excuse accepted at the Judgment. There will be no one and nothing to point the finger at - except you.
Follow Him, because He is worthy to be followed - not for some fringe benefit. Multitudes followed Jesus (Mt 4:25, 8:1, 12:15, 19:2, 20:29), but for many, it was for the wrong reasons (Jn 6:2). Eventually, they turned back - and forsook eternal life (Jn 6:60-66). Just as a side note, isn’t it amazing what John “666” says? I’m not implying anything, I just thought it was interesting. Signs and wonders are not bad, as long as they glorify Jesus, and as long as they don’t become the motive for following Him.
Unlike “Say this little prayer” evangelism, following Jesus will cost you. It may cost you everything. Jesus turned to the multitude following Him, and told them they had better count the cost if they wanted to keep following Him (Lk 14:25-33). Jesus was real plain-spoken. He made clear you have to be willing to forsake everything - I mean everything - if you want to follow Him (Lk 9:23-26, Mk 10:17-25). Are you willing to follow Him? Are you willing to forsake all? You should first count the cost.
But oh, the blessing! The blessing of following Jesus so far outweighs the cost, it isn’t even worthy to be compared! Whatever the cost, it is a light affliction, but for a moment! Has it cost you a mom or dad to follow Jesus? You get 100 moms and dads in Christ! A brother, sister, or friend? A child, a job, a house? You get 100 more brothers, sisters, friends, children, houses, and jobs (Mk 10:26-30)! The family of God is your family! Other blessings for following Jesus include: You will not walk in darkness, but in light (Jn 8:12); you are honored by the Father (Jn 12:26) - this is an amazing statement! You hear the voice of Jesus, and you receive eternal life, and never perish (Jn 10:4, 27-30)! How awesome is that!
Some other things the Disciple of Christ is to follow: We are to follow after the things which make peace among the brethren (Rom 14:19); We are to follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts (1Cor 14:1); We are to follow that which is good (1Thess 5:15); We are to follow the apostles’ example (2Thess 3:7,9); We are to follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness, peace (1Tim 6:11, 2Tim 2:22); We are to follow peace with all men, and holiness (Heb 12:14); We are to follow the faith of those who speak to us the Word of God (Heb 13:7); We are to follow that which is good and not evil (3Jn 1:11); We are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus (1Pt 2:21).
Call on Jesus today. When He gives you sight - and He will - the best thing you can do is rise up and follow Him today and every day forever (Mk 10:51-52). Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!