Summary: A reminder that while the trend today is to follow various celebrities, your life is not completely full until you follow Jesus.
These days everyone is following someone else. It seems people are fascinated with the lives of others. Celebrities who only need one name like Oprah, Ellen, Beyoncé, Denzell, JayZ, Kanye and the Rock only need one name they’re so popular and have thousands- sometimes millions of followers. Well everyone has heard of the Kardashians, Tyler Perry, Kerry Washington, the beautiful Taraji P. Henson, Taylor Swift, the smooth singing John Legend and Michelle and Barack Obama have even been followed on their vacations when they were trying to escape attention. Even our most popular athletes- Stephen Curry, Jose' Altuve, LeBron James and JJ Watt fall victim to being followed even when they want to be alone! But isn’t it funny that these people are so popular, yet not one can save your soul!
But people (I know ya’ll don’t!) People labor over page after page of popular magazines; scour social media like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, just to find out what they are wearing, where they are going and what they are eating. They want to know what they buy, what their children are doing, who are they are in or out of love with on a personal level. These people have no private lives because the paparazzi follow them and invade their space everywhere they go! The trend word these days is follow. My question to you today is “Who are you following). You need to follow Jesus…Beyoncé nor Oprah can get you in heaven!
Well first things first, the author of our text is the apostle Matthew. Now I want you to realize that Matthew was different from the other disciples Jesus called to follow Him who were rugged fisherman. Check Matthew 9: 9-13 and you’ll learn that Matthew was in fact a Jewish tax collector, a despised member of society. He was hated by the Romans who’s only use for them was to cheat the Jews and Romans out of their money. Listen…The Devout Jews avoided them because they were dishonest and made money cheating others. The Patriotic and Naturalistic Jews hated them with a double hatred because they had gone over to the enemy and betrayed their own people for money! But not only did Matthew leave his collection desk to follow Jesus but held a dinner party with people that had great influence and had Jesus to come speak to them. So what I found interesting was that although some people did not like Matthew, he was feared and therefore had great power, but he left it all to follow Jesus, a man he knew nothing about. Who are you following?
So let’s take a page from Matthew and look at some followers you may have heard about. In the fourth chapter Jesus called on some brothers …Simon and Andrew, then two other brothers, James and John, sons of Zebedee- all left their work to follow Jesus. HOW did they follow preacher? Let me tell you some things you need to follow Christ..
1. You must be AVAILABLE. Now to know Christ you must study His Word. Listen we tell people it was a good day at church but can’t remember the sermon. Yes we’ve been dunked in the water of baptism and go to church Sunday after Sunday, but if Christ walked in right now, would you forsake all and follow Him or would you have an excuse. Remember our service to God is not dependent on our ability but on our Availability. Think about this…David was small but slayed a giant! Deborah was just a judge but it was her influence that helped to find and kill the enemy not Barak the soldier. Moses was not an eloquent speaker but yet he led a nation to freedom. It’s your availability that counts. There is a quote from Israelmore Ayivor that I like that says, “Don’t just be able, but be available. Be present to make a change.” Be AVAILABLE- follow Jesus!
2. You must be TEACHABLE. You must learn the Word. The Word will become your strength and shield, it will light your path and it will bring you comfort and joy-it will illuminate your mind! But it can’t do any of these things if you can’t or won’t be teachable. Bible Study, Sunday School, weekly meetings, worship services- all learning opportunities for you. The good news is that the Word is ever fresh, never stale or stagnant and it never ever goes out of style or out of sync. It can reach you no matter where you are! But you must be teachable! You can read it again and again, you can listen to pastors and preachers teach on the same scripture and always walk away with new knowledge. I’ve heard the story of the birth of Christ, studied it myself, discussed it with my family, preached it countless times yet every time I sit and listen to it being preached I walk away with a new thought or as my last pastor used to say-a new nugget! It’s always fresh! But you must be TEACHABLE! Follow Jesus!