Follow Me! Two words, spoken by Jesus, that transform lives. These two words change the trajectory of a person’s life. What did it mean for Peter or Paul? Ultimately, what do these two words mean for me? In Peter’s life, following Jesus began with walking away from a business. He walked away from security for the future and the comfort of knowing what he was doing. He literally followed Jesus. He walked with Him. Ate meals with Him. Slept in the room with Him. He sat at the feet of Jesus as He taught with authority. He helps serve 5000 of Jesus’ closest friends. Peter tried and failed. He walked on water and then began to sink. He made declarations of “You are the Christ” and then was rebuked because he could not see how Jesus dying on the cross fit into the plan. Peter denied Jesus and then was restored by love. Peter had been a shadow to Jesus and then in Acts, 1:8 Jesus says that Peter and the others would now be witnesses. What did they witness? Powerful teachings, miracles, tender moments of grace, and acceptance to outcast and broken people. They were witnesses to His death and the powerful resurrection. Peter became a mouthpiece. Then Peter died for his faith. Following Jesus change the course of Peter’s everyday life as well as eternity.
What about Paul? Paul was a Hebrew of Hebrews. He was a well-educated Pharisee. So zealous for his faith he persecuted the church. Then he has this encounter that forever changed him. Paul ran into the risen savior, Jesus. Paul says that everything he accomplished could never compare to knowing Jesus. Paul then sets out to tell everyone, even Gentiles, especially Gentiles about the life-saving knowledge of Jesus. Following Jesus was life-altering for Paul.
What does following Jesus look like for me? There is a lot that could be said here. Following Jesus has to be life-altering today, not just a future hope. Jesus is not an add-on to our job, our family, our hobbies, and our trips. Jesus is life and apart from Him, we are fulfilling our own fleshly desires. Each of us need to pause and ask these questions. Does knowing Jesus change how I live today? Does it change my wants and desires? Does it well up within me to help others know Jesus? If not, something is wrong. Maybe we have just added Jesus on to our lives rather than having a radically transformed life.