How Do We Follow Jesus?
When Jesus says in Mark 1:17 to Simon and Andrew “follow me," I often cringe, because I know what follows. Simon and Andrew immediately leave their nets and follow Jesus. Based on what we see in Mark thus far it does not seem that Simon and Andrew have enough information about Jesus to make this big life decision. I feel in my gut the brutal truth that I probably wouldn’t just up and leave my job, my family, my home, to follow this guy named Jesus.
I was helped incredibly though when I heard someone teach on this passage about how a lot actually happens before Jesus makes this call to Simon and Andrew to follow him. In fact, a lot happens, and it is based on the placement of Mark 1:14 and the timing of when John the Baptist was imprisoned. This fact is impactful because it opens up the reality that a lot of relational investments takes place and it is really helpful, and really cool to see.
The fact is, Simon and Andrew have been with Jesus a lot longer than what it appears in Mark. In fact, Simon and Andrew have been with Jesus doing life together. They were together at the wedding in Cana when Jesus turned water into wine. They were together at Passover when Jesus drove out the money changers from the temple. They were together when they heard about Jesus’ late night chat with Nicodemus. They were together when Jesus had his famous interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well.
So when we see in Mark how Jesus is getting the band together, it isn’t the first time they’ve met. In essence, Jesus is getting the band BACK TOGETHER. And Jesus is calling them to a life of service to others.
When Simon and Andrew drop their nets and follow Jesus, it comes after they spent a lot of time together.
I recently left my job to go to a new company. This was a big deal for me since I was at my previous job for 13 years. How in the world did I come to the point of making this move? Relationships. I knew the people at the new company. I knew the leadership. I had been together working alongside these people for years. So when the time came to make this move, I did it.
Another example is when a few of us decided to get serious about launching Cities Church. How in the world could I come to the point of leaving my church where I got saved to help launch a start up church? How could I leave those friendships? Well, it was the people. I had been together with these guys and I knew them. I knew the leaders. So when the time came to make the move, we left and went along.
See, when Jesus comes to you and says, “follow me," it is reasonable to assess who you are following.
The question for you today is whether or not you are together with Jesus. Are you getting to know one another?
Last week Pastor David exhorted us to be married to our Bibles in 2018. Today I want to add on to this and say, if you are married to your Bible, are you spending quality time together with it. And the point of Bible study is to learn about Jesus and get to know him.
We see in the gospels that Jesus was incredibly relational with his peeps.
Bible study is getting together with Jesus, getting to know him. But also, let’s add a layer to this and say, relational time with each other in your life group, in your community group, doing Bible study together and talking through who Jesus is and the tough questions you have is really helpful in you getting to know Jesus and being together with him. That layer of life on life Bible study helps you know Jesus more deeply.
And if you don’t know where to start, use this Quarterly resource. We have poured a lot of hours into this to help in your journey to seeing more of Jesus.
I am exhorting you today to dig deeper into your own relationship with Jesus, and on this journey of getting to know Jesus, do so along with other Christians. Join in bible study with those in your community group and life group.
When Jesus says “follow me” I want us to be at that point that we know Jesus and we drop our nets and we follow him.... Because we know him.
Prayer of Confession
Father, thank you for your Bible. It is an amazing thing that we get to be with Jesus through this narrative, through your Word, through this message of the good news.
We often disregard the importance of personal Bible study. We let the busynesss and hub bub of the world take priority in our day. And this is because we don’t know you. Help us to know you more so that when Jesus says in the morning “follow me” we can jump out of bed and get our time in the Bible.
Father, we confess this sin of ignoring you and prioritizing other things above Bible study.
Father, this is a great evil, and we know that if we in the church regard sin in our midst, our prayers will be ineffectual, so we confess our individual sins to you now in a time of silent confession.