This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.
“Follow me.” They are two simple words but mean a lot.
These two words were among the favorite of Jesus when he called people to be his disciples, such as in Matthew 9:9,
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the toll booth, and he said to him, “Follow me,” and he got up and followed him. (Christian Standard Bible)
These words are simple, but they’re also life-changing for those who heed them. To follow Jesus isn’t simply to like some things about his teachings. It’s not to think that Jesus was a nice guy or a prophetic voice of his time. It’s not to simply believe true things about Jesus.
To follow Jesus is a commitment to a brand new life.
When we encounter Jesus for the first time and he says “follow” he does so as one walking in the opposite direction of us. Jesus isn’t interested in adding something new to our days. Rather, he calls us to radical new commitments and new ways of thinking. When Jesus elsewhere speaks about the last being first and first being last, he’s saying that he came to turn the world on its head, and our lives as well.
Jesus calls us to self-sacrifice. “Take up your cross and follow me.” Jesus calls us to an unselfish love. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus calls us to new priorities. “What you do to the least of these, you do to me.”
Will we answer that call? Will we turn and follow, or will we choose to keep sitting at our toll booth when Jesus walks on by?