CONTRIBUTED BY ANDREW HART
“Follow me”, says Jesus.
He said it to his disciples, and he says to you!
How can you follow Jesus? Is it anything like following someone on social media?
Actually, it’s completely the opposite. On Facebook you can follow someone, but you don’t really have to care about that person at all. You can like what they post, ignore them, or you can disagree with everything they say, it hardly makes a difference.
Not so with Jesus.
To understand this a bit better, consider what had happened in bible times.
Rich people could afford to have their children get an education. For them, school was about learning Hebrew, the law, and whole sections of scripture. If a boy showed talent, they could continue with their education. If not, they had to leave school and go to work, most likely in their fathers business or farm.
Training consisted of learning, memorising and retelling the stories and passages of the law and other scripture. When a boy was considered ready, a rabbi, or teacher of the law, would visit the school. He would listen to the boys, and determine if any showed sufficient talent for the Rabbi to take them into their college.
Literally, a Rabbi would come by and say “follow me” to the boy, and he would follow the Rabbi until he became a Rabbi in his own right, at about 30 years of age. And he would become as good as his teacher (Luke 6:40).
Which is why it is interesting that Jesus was recognised as being gifted without having this training under a Rabbi, as we read in Mark 3. Here it is asked “Isn’t this the carpenters son?”. In other words, he only grew up in his fathers business, he has no training in the law, so how could he possibly have been taught to this level?
So a boy would leave father, mother and family business to go be with the Rabbi. This was a great honour for the parents.
Paul was one of these disciples, he trained under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3).
But Jesus said to ordinary men without any training “come, follow me”, and immediately they left their family and business and followed Jesus. It’s like they got a second chance to be a disciple of the greatest and most popular Rabbi going around at that time. In a sense, they hit the jackpot, the first prize.
But Jesus says “whoever loves father or mother, or son or daughter, more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). Anyone who values possessions more than Jesus is not worthy of him (Matthew 19:21).
So why follow Jesus? Because he brings life. He brings salvation.
Follow Jesus, confess him as your personal saviour, and follow him as a disciple. Don’t be a passive follower of someone on Facebook or Instagram, rather be an active follower of Jesus. Praise him, abide in him, and follow him.