Why Did People Follow Jesus? (Y1.T1.D19)
Updated: Mar 10
Unsplash, "Jehyun Sung"
I've often wondered if I would have been brave enough to drop everything I was doing (my work, my family, my home) to follow after Jesus. So why did the disciples do it?
The simple answer is because they recognized him as the Christ, even when they didn't fully comprehend what that meant.
A more complex reason is that Jesus could see their hearts. For example, when the Master met Nathanael, he acknowledged the very heart of the man saying, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!" (John 1:47).
That makes so much sense to me. Once, when I was over fifty years old, my pastor responded to a defensive comment I made with, “I see you.”
All the words in my mouth dried up. My mind recorded the softness of the chair, the lighting of the room, and the sound of traffic from the window.
Capitalizing on my pause, he added, “You really love God.”
This simple statement filled gaps in my heart I didn't know were there. With the help of the Holy Spirit, this insightful man looked beyond my inept actions and saw my intentions.
Like Nathanael, I follow Jesus because he is Christ Jesus, my Lord:
He counted me faithful, appointing me to service; although I used to be a blasphemer, a persecutor, and insolent. However, I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. The grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display all his patience for an example of those who were going to believe in him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1)
Will You Follow Him?
35 Again, the next day, John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them, “What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, being interpreted, Teacher), “where are you staying?”
39 He said to them, “Come, and see.”
They came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two who heard John and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother, Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which is, being interpreted, Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is by interpretation, Peter). 43 On the next day, he was determined to go out into Galilee, and he found Philip. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said about him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered him, “Because I told you, ‘I saw you underneath the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these!” 51 He said to him, “Most certainly, I tell you all, hereafter you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
1 The third day, there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. 2 Jesus also was invited, with his disciples, to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine.”
4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever he says to you, do it.” 6 Now there were six water pots of stone set there after the Jews’ way of purifying, containing two or three metretes apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. 8 He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn’t know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now!” 11 This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. (John 1:35–2:11)
1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness,
and princes shall rule in justice.
2 A man shall be as a hiding place from the wind,
and a covert from the storm,
as streams of water in a dry place,
as the shade of a large rock in a weary land.
3 The eyes of those who see will not be dim,
and the ears of those who hear will listen.
4 The heart of the rash will understand knowledge,
and the tongue of the stammerers will be ready to speak plainly.
5 The fool will no longer be called noble,
nor the scoundrel be highly respected.
6 For the fool will speak folly,
and his heart will work iniquity,
to practice profanity,
and to utter error against Yahweh,
to make empty the soul of the hungry,
and to cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.
7 The ways of the scoundrel are evil.
He devises wicked plans to destroy the humble with lying words,
even when the needy speaks right.
8 But the noble devises noble things;
and he will continue in noble things. (Isaiah 32:1–8)
Thank You so much for seeing me. I recognize I have been called to follow Your example and walk in Your steps (1 Peter 2:21). Remove from me any unholy thing that separates me from You. Help me deny myself and take up the cross assigned to me (Matthew 16:24). I want to be where You are (John 12:26), and nothing more.
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