Jesus wasn’t just a nice guy who did all kinds of incredible things for people. He wasn’t just a good teacher whose words you should consider before you decide for yourself what is right. He wasn’t just a prophet. Of course, he is the nicest guy, the greatest teacher, and the greatest prophet of all time. But more than that, Jesus Christ is the Redeemer. Because there isn’t one of us who is able to attain the presence of the father on our own, we need a mediator, someone who can go before the father on our behalf and get stuff for us. And of course, the best stuff is eternal life.
Jesus has a requirement for this mediation service. You have to make him Lord. In modern-day United States a lot of us have little concept of what it means to make someone Lord. But we do have these few examples to draw on. If you rent a house you have a landlord. The landlord is Lord of the property. In order for you to occupy the landlord’s house you have to do what the landlord requires. Everyone knows there is a rent payment. But there is more than that. There are rules regarding the property. You have to have permission to do absolutely anything on that property. You can’t paint it, carpet it, or even put a nail on the wall in it without the landlords permission. (I rented a house before where one of the rules was you are not allowed to put a nail in the wall, you had to use the existing nails put there by the landlord.)
In the workplace a boss is something of a Lord. You can’t go to work and do things the boss doesn’t want you to do. Now this example may mean different things to different people because some people have jobs where they have license to do things their own way. And to some degree we have freedom to do our Christian works our own way. For example, the Lord wants us to be loving spouses if we are married. The Lord doesn’t tell us what kind of gifts to buy our spouses, what special attention we should pay our spouses, he just tells us to love. But just like a boss expects us to meet his expectations, so does the Lord. And in a somewhat similar manner where if you don’t meet the boss’s expectations you can get fired, if you don’t meet the Lord’s expectation you break your connection, your fellowship.
Jesus said that he came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly(John 10:10). And that more abundant life is dependent on our service, our following his lead. This is where it is a little different than following a boss. You don’t get fired from being a Christian if you don’t follow Jesus, you just don’t experience a more abundant life. Because only Jesus’ ways lead to the abundant life he offers.
And as Jesus passed by from thence, he saw a man, called Matthew, sitting at the place of toll: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. [Matt 9:9]
In Matthew nine verse nine we have the example of the apostle Matthew making Jesus Lord. The verses are simple. Jesus called Matthew to follow him, and Matthew followed. That is the act of making Jesus Lord.
And he that doth not take his cross and follow after me, is not worthy of me.
He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. [Matt 10:38-40]
In these verses in Matthew chapter 10 we have some of Jesus’ instruction or on what it means to follow him. In what looks like an enigma we have really some basic truths. In order to find your life in Christ you have to lose your life and the world. If you lose your life and the world you will find life in Christ, and he received not only of Christ, but of God the father.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. [Matt 16:24]
In Matthew chapter 16 Jesus again reiterates this concept. You have to deny your worldly life in order to have life Christ which means taking up the burden he gives you and carrying it out.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me. [John 14:6]
Friend, if this is touching you, then you are hearing the call of God. Heed the call. Follow Jesus. Make him Lord in your life.
Perhaps, it looks too hard. It really isn’t. Jesus said it best:
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. [Matt 11:28-30]
Isn’t that something you want?
(c) copyright Mark W Smith, All rights reserved.
3 thoughts on “Being a Christian Means Following Christ”
It was good talking to you today. I’ve looked at a few of your articles on this site, and I look forward to talking some more. I have some questions.
GREAT site. One question about this article… how do we follow Jesus? I know that his commands are to love God with all your heart and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. Is that it?
Sorry, I was on vacation this week. Loving God with all your heart and soul and your neighbor as yourself is certainly the right start as Jesus said in Luke chapter 10. He went on, in response to the lawyer questioning him and told the parable of the good Samaritan, which clarifies that loving your neighbor means the stranger.
Jesus also said in John 14, that if we love him, we will keep his commandments.
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