What does it mean to follow someone? It really depends on the context. If you follow someone on Twitter it simply means you have an interest in keeping up with what that person writes in 140 characters or less. If you follow a football team, it basically means you’re a fan – you cheer for them and wear their team logo on your person.
To be a follower of Jesus implies much, much more. Jesus’ first disciples will be the topic of our study in the gospel of John this Sunday. We’ll be reading John 1:35-51.
To really understand the dynamic of what is transpiring in this text, we need to become familiarized with the 1st century practice of rabbis and their disciples. Here is an EXCELLENT article about that subject. Please, please do yourself a favor and take the time to read it.
As you read this account of Rabbi Jesus gathering his first Talmidim (disciples, followers) – what do you observe about following Jesus; what did it meant to them? Did they have questions, and what were they? What was their first order of business after they met Jesus? What significant thing happens with Simon (whose name means sinking sand) – and what might it imply for him?
As the disciples tell their friends about Jesus – what is the invitation they give?
What would you invite others to “come and see” about Jesus?
Here are the songs for this Sunday from the Eastgate Hymnal – its a good practice to meditate on what we’ll sing together and heighten our sense of worship.
“Bless Your Name”
“There is No One”
“No Other Name”
“From the Inside Out”
2 thoughts on “Following Jesus”
Whether the disciples approached Jesus to become His followers or He compelled them it seemed to be reckless abandon once they were with Him. It was as though nothing else mattered. This is what or who rather they had been waiting for for all of their lives. Immediately they wanted to know where He was staying as if it would be unbearable to loose Him once they were finally in His presence. And in his presence is where they stayed. Once they secured His location they immediately began bringing family and friends to see Him and join them. There seemed to be an urgency to getting the word out to those they cared about. The significance of Jesus changing Andrew’s brothers’ name from Simon (sinking sand) to Cephas (A Stone) is so totally thought provoking to me. In my mind this one act speaks volumes about Jesus’ entire ministry. It is the very thing He came to do. To restore and empower us to be like Him. The moment Simon meets Jesus his destiny changes. His life goes from instability (sinking sand) to strength, from a life of falling down to a solidity others could find sure footing with. Jesus seems to breath purpose and stability into Cephas with His words. Now it is in Cephas’ hands to believe he can be empowered by Jesus. The article you encouraged us to read was awesome Rob..It speaks to this very issue..we are all called, chosen by the King to be His followers and to be like Him but can we embrace this? Can we dare to believe that we are valuable to our Jesus!! To quote the article it says “we must believe Jesus calls us to be disciples because He knows He can so instruct, empower and fill us with His Spirit that we can be like Him (at least in our actions).” Otherwise we will doubt He can use us and not live the full and abundant life He has for us. In one of the Narnia books I remember a part when Lucy was trying and wanting to be like her sister Susan. Aslan confronted her and said “you doubt your value child, quit running from who you really are”. John Eldridge speaks of taking this question to the Lord, Ask Him who you are to Him..An awesome idea that I am sure will change our lives and the lives of those whom we encounter!!!
From sinking sand to solid rock. That’s really awesome.