Following Jesus requires surrender
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions (Matthew 19:21-22).
One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind (Matthew 4:18-22).
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:24-25).
Following Jesus requires courage
“At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled” (Matthew 26:56b).
“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
Following Jesus requires perseverance
At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life” (John 6:66-68).
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish” (Hebrews 12:1-2a).
Following Jesus is the greatest privilege
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” (Matthew 13:44-46)
“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8).
Rev. Brandon Dasinger
Teaching Pastor and Director of Missions
- Read Matthew 4:12–16 and Isaiah 9:1–2. How has Jesus brought light to your darkness? How can you join Jesus in bringing that light to others?
- Read Matthew 4:18–22 and Luke 5:1–11. How did the disciples react to Jesus’ call? What did they leave behind? How long did their response take? What was Peter’s reaction when he realized Jesus’ identity? Why do you think these four men reacted the way they did?
- Read Matthew 4:17 and 19. What does it mean to follow Jesus? How are abandonment and repentance related? What do followers of Jesus turn from? And where do they turn to?
- What are the costs of discipleship? What are the benefits? What are the costs of non-discipleship?