If Jesus walked into your work today, looked at you behind your desk, and said, “Follow me,” what would you do?
Would you stand up, leave your desk behind, and follow Jesus; just wave at the other people in the cubicles while you passed them by?
Now, let’s say you’re standing at the docks, getting ready to go fishing so that you can feed your family. And Jesus comes strolling down the shore, looks right at you, looks down at the net, looks at you again, and says, “Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” What would you do?
Would you immediately drop your net and fishing poles and walk down the shore with Jesus?
For most of us, this would be a tremendously difficult decision. To leave your career, financial security, and sense of normalcy at the drop of a hat to follow a stranger would be no easy decision.
Yet, this is precisely what the disciples did when Jesus called them to follow him as their leader. Look at what happened when Jesus called out his first four disciples from their fishing career.
“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.” (Matthew 4:18-21)
Or how about when Jesus called Matthew straight out of his office cubicle?
“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.” (Matthew 9:9)
Do you know what all these accounts have in common? Not once did the disciples hesitate to follow Jesus as their leader. They didn’t procrastinate, make excuses, or complain. Instead, the Bible describes their actions as “immediately” and “at once.”
And these actions weren’t just one-hit wonders. All these disciples went on to change the world after the resurrection of Jesus. They decided that following Jesus was the most significant thing they could do with their lives. And because of their self-denial, we know about Jesus.
Here’s the good news. Jesus is still calling disciples to follow him. That includes you!
Maybe he isn’t calling you to do something as drastic as the original disciples. But he is calling you to follow him, and it’s going to take some self-denial on your part.
Jesus said, “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:38)
Jesus leaves no room for excuses, procrastination, or replacement leadership. It simply comes down to this. Are you following you or are you following Jesus?
Jesus doesn’t share leadership with anyone. He didn’t die on the cross and rise from the dead so that we could have followers. He did it so that we could follow him.
It’s time to start truly following the leader.