Are you a follower of Jesus geographically, or a follower spiritually? In Luke 14:25-26a, when Jesus outlines in a rather uncomfortable fashion the cost of being His disciple, He turned to the immense crowd following him and say, “If any would come after me….” Jesus differentiated–just because they were part of the crowd doesn’t mean they are committed. You can be a follower, but not a follower in the sense that Jesus calls for.
I just finished reading a book that should be in the laps, hearts, and minds of every Christian and church member. “Real Christianity” by William Wilberforce. Wilberforce served in parliament for almost 40 years and was instrumental in stopping the slave trade in Britain.
It is our good fortune that these wonderful truths have been written down for us. We recite these truths in our services, even if we hear nothing of them from the pulpit. How can these wonderful things be treated as some kind of ancient history with no bearing on the present moment? How can they be spoken of with so little emotion? We hear of them with indifference and respond to them as if by rote. We leave the church and do not think of them again until the next Sunday. The term “lukewarm,” given by Jesus Himself, aptly describes this tepid faith. I hope you do not think I am being too harsh or critical. I am only attempting to describe what I have seen. Again, remember, I am speaking here of those who claim to be Christians! How can these things, so precious to God, be treated with such coldness?”
In John 6:60-68, approximately 20,000 people were following him. After a hard teaching on all-out commitment to Jesus, only twelve remained. Hard teaching, most left. Disciples stayed because they saw nowhere else that had the words to eternal life. Jesus chose them.
Are you a follower, or a follower? Do you follow because of parents? Why are you here? Does Jesus hold some fascination to you? Some sentimentality that may be a construct in your own mind, but may not fit what the Bible says? People in Bible times followed him because he healed the sick, raised the dead, and came up with food out of nowhere. They loved things about Him. They loved His blessings, but would Jesus be enough for them if He didn’t provide those material things?
Why do you follow Jesus? Sentimentality? Nostalgia? Pleasing the memory of someone you respect? The blessings you hope He gives? Or do you follow Him because He’s worth it, because He’s enough? If the former, no wonder your faith may have grow cold. Pursue the resurrected and exalted Christ. Those dying embers will come roaring to life!