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Follow Me

April 25, 2020

“Follow me.” John 21:22

The first thing Jesus said to Peter in the Gospels was: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mat. 4:19). Now Jesus says the same thing as he sends Peter out into ministry: “Follow me.” This is a call to active participation in the purpose of Jesus.

Perhaps you grew up singing about surrender to Jesus: “I surrender all.” There’s nothing wrong with that, but the word “surrender” is only used twice in the New Testament. Once in Luke when we are told that Pilate surrendered Jesus to the will of the crowd who were calling for Him to be crucified (23:25), and once in 1 Corinthians, when Paul says, “If I…surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing” (13:3 NIV).

The problem with “surrendering” to Jesus is that it does not go far enough. Surrender is passive. People surrender when they are defeated, and only with extreme reluctance. Christ doesn’t call you to passive surrender. He calls you to active obedience: “Follow me.”

Why in all the world would anyone follow a Christ who allows His people to suffer? There’s only one reason. Because your heart has been gripped by the love of Jesus for you.

Christ loves you. He gave Himself for you. He has triumphed over death and ascended into heaven, and when He says, “Follow me,” He means: “Follow me all the way through your life and then into the eternity that I am preparing for you.”

British missionary C. T. Studd said, “If Jesus Christ is God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”

What’s the hardest thing about your life right now? Is it too great a sacrifice to make for Jesus?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the President and Teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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