Matthew 9:9 “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.”
Seems like a simple enough command to obey.
Yet, the call to follow for Matthew was to leave all and follow. There are times when it is prudent for us to count the cost before answering. For Matthew and for us, this is one of those times.
Our first invitation was to follow Christ to the cross. There, we are shown the path to salvation and to receive the gift offered freely.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The second is into the waters of baptism. It is there we not only profess our faith to a congregation of believers, but we are also saying goodbye to the old man and the old life we once lived.
Romans 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
The life we live as a child of God comes down to this. There are works before ordained for us to accomplish. These works are known by God and revealed to us when we are following the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit day by day.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Jesus Christ is our example of how to live. He, though God, walked according to all the Father revealed to Him through the Holy Spirit. We are to follow His example.
1 Peter 2:21-24 “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
We can no more do what Christ did in the flesh than change our nature. We have no power to do so. Yet, when we submit and follow His leading, we find we can be a part of the miraculous!
When we share the gospel with a lost soul, and they come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, we become a part of God’s divine plan. Teaching, preaching, serving, helping, and using our gifts and talents for the Lord allows us to see what He can do through us.
Each time we follow, we are given evidence of the reality of God. Whether it is answered prayer or a blessing received, we have every opportunity every day to show others and ourselves that God is real – and all we need do is follow.
When we decide to follow, we receive a cross to bear.
Luke 14:27 “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
That cross has been chosen for us to help us to grow into the image of God’s dear Son, Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.“
When I think of the conforming process, what is poured into the mold must by moldable, pliable, easy to conform. I cannot be beaten into submission. It must yield to the form.
For Matthew to follow and become a disciple of Jesus Christ, he left a lucrative position and followed not knowing all of what was to befall him. In the end, he became a missionary to Ethiopia. It was there he was staked, impaled, and beheaded for his faith.
If we were to know the ned of all that we would face, would we take it on happily?
Whatever path God chooses to glorify Himself with my life is the simplest definition of what it means to follow the Savior.
May we put off the works of darkness, clothe ourselves with light and become children of the light.
Ephesians 5:8 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”