Following Jesus 9

Following Jesus refers to being a disciple of Jesus. Being a disciple of Jesus entails following Jesus’ leading and learning from His teaching in order to take upon oneself, by God’s enablement, Jesus’ character.

In examining what it means to Follow Jesus as His disciples, let’s take a look at the most familiar disciples of Jesus: the Twelve. Matthew 10:1-4 is one text, along with Mark 3, Luke 6 and Acts 1, which gives us a list of who these men were. 

And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (Matthew 10:1-4 ESV).

These were the men belonging to the Master. What were they like? How are we like them? Most were true disciples; one was not. How do we resemble them in our personalities, passions, and our perspectives? 

As we have already seen, Simon Peter was an inquisitive man. He asked Jesus a lot of questions. Do you ask questions of your church leaders, pastors and Sunday school teachers? If you do, you are like Simon Peter. Simon Peter was also one who took initiative. 

Do you display initiative? Peter took initiative. He was creative, resourceful, enterprising and possessed ingenuity. He was the first to take action. He did not require prompting from others. 

Are you involved? Peter was always in the middle of activities. He was always in the midst of whatever was occurring. Peter never wanted to miss anything. 

Are you growing in your faith? Are you growing, as did Peter? 

Are you seeing God develop within you Christ-like character? Simon developed from an un-submissive man unto a submissive servant of God (Matthew 17:24-27; I Peter 2:13-18). He developed from a man who was self-ruled to one who was controlled by the Holy Spirit (John 18; I Peter 2:18-23). One who was always ready to fight unto one who was willing to suffer (John 18:1-11; I Peter 4:14-19). One who contained a self-centered love unto a disciple who demonstrated a self-sacrificial love of the will (John 13; I Peter 4:8). A man of pride who became a man of humility (I Peter 5:1-5). A man of fear who became a man of great courage. (Matthew 26; 57-68; 73-75; Mark 14:53-65; 70-72; Luke 22:59-65; John 18:25-27; Acts 2; 4). 

Is your character developing into greater Christ-likeness? If so, how in comparing yourself to Peter? Are you increasingly submissive to God and to church leaders? Are you increasingly self-controlled by the Holy Spirit or by yourself? Are you humble or proud? Are you willing to suffer or ready for a fight? Are you desiring to self-sacrificially love or do you always have to have your own way? Are you courageous for Christ or fearful someone will find out you are a follower of Jesus? 

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