Summary: Various people followed Jesus when He walked the Earth. I have found 8 different ways that people followed Him. But only one way leads to life.
In Mark 1:16-20 – Jesus calls to some men to come and follow him. Here is he story
16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. 20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.
The bible records that they left what they were doing and they went and followed Christ. As I read the bible I see there are a number of responses to the invitation to Come and follow Jesus.
8 Ways that we can follow Jesus
1) Not Follow
Matthew 19:16-23 The Story of the Rich Young Ruler
16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good[a] Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good?[b] No one is good but One, that is, God.[c] But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’[d] and, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ ”[e]
20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.[f] What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
He came to Jesus to find out how to follow Him, but he didn't like the answer to so decided to not follow Christ.
How many people have heard an invitation to follow Christ but have rejected it.
Where is this rich young ruler today?
2) Follow around with Jesus
Mark 5:24-34 – The story of the Woman with the issue of blood
24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”
31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”
32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
Here there were many people following Jesus, but they were following him as disciples, they were following him by simply hanging out with Jesus. Too many people in churches just hang around with Jesus.
3) Follow for a while
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
The church at Galatia had been sold out for the cause of Christ, but over time they have gone off track and were now turning away from following Him. The challenge for people is to not just follow Jesus for a season, but to follow him for the rest of their lives. I love Ps 1 and in Verse 3 it talks about the person who meditates on the word of God – its says of that person that their leaf will not wither – in other words they will stay the course when it comes to following Christ.
4) Follow him for what you get out of it
Acts 19 Contains the story of the Seven sons of Sceva