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Summary: Jesus called his disciples to follow him so that he would bless them and make them a living witness and finally help them to be seated with him for ever.

Ash Wednesday

Jesus: "Follow Me" - John 1:43-51

Discipleship is not forced one but voluntary act. It’s not a command but an open call.

Gospels are having many call narratives. Jesus calls Andrew, Philip, John and all other apostles. Jesus called each of his disciples at various occasions. Some were called while they were mending their fishing nets. Some were called when they were busy with their government jobs (Mt.9:9). Some were called when they were jobless (Mk.1:16-20). Stories after stories we see in the Bible how God called many of the prophets, judges, kings and apostles.

God’s call is recorded in several epistle, such as, Romans 8:30; Romans 11:29; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:4; Philippians 3:14; Colossians 3:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 1:19; 1 Peter 2:21; 2 Peter 1:10; Jude 1:1).

Jesus laid the precondition for discipleship was to leave everything(Lk.14:33).

Levi left everything(Lk.5:28). Peter asked a question to Jesus in Mathew 19:26 ‘we have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?’

Those who struggled to leave everything were denied to follow him. Ex., rich young man, rich fool.

The benefits of following Jesus Christ:

Blessedness

Placed in a Higher responsibility as a witness and

Entering and Inheriting the King of God.

1. “Follow me” to be a blessed person

Though Jesus was a fakir, a man without home or permanent residence. But he never expected his followers to become like him in all aspects. His promise surprises us that his followers would be blessed hundredfold (Mt.19:29). The first blessing on the earth is to receive many times as much in this age and in the age to come, eternal life (Lk.18:30).

Abraham had enormous wealth, sheep, cattle, silver, gold and servants (Gen.13:6, 24:35). Isaac had hundredfold blessings( Gen.26:12). Jacob had huge properties(Gen.33:11). God gave Canaan to Israelites.

Then spiritual blessings would follow after, such as, “Come to me all who are thirsty and hunger” (Is.55:1), “come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, I will give you rest” (Mt.11:28).

2. “Follow me” to be a witness

The precondition for a witness is to be with Christ (Jn.15:27).

Ac.1:8 calls us to be a witness for Jesus in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Isa 43:10 says ‘you are my witnesses’.

Witness about the full new life in Christ (Ac.5:20). You will be witness to all men (Ac.22:15).

False witness means telling lies, it will not go unpunished (Pr.19:9) whereas the truthful witness gives honest testimony (Pr.12:17). True testimony will be heard even after death (Heb.11:4) like Abel.

3. “Follow me” to inherit Kingdom of God

Gain Christ is important (Phil.3:8). called his disciples and gave them authority to preach, baptise, cast out demons to bring many to the Kingdom of God.

Jesus promised the Kingdom of God to those who follow the foot steps of Jesus. He walked to the Jordan to be baptised, he walked to the wilderness to be tempted, he walked to the sea of Galilee to make disciples, he walked to the Bethesda to heal the sick man, he walked to the temple to ascertain his calling and proclaim his mission, he walked to Samaria to bring the outcasts, he walked to the Jerusalem to cleanse the temple and, he walked to Golgotha to give his life on the CROSS as ransom for many. The footsteps of Jesus leads to resurrection and glory but preconditioned by suffering and CROSS.

Hygiene Hypotheses: According to this certain allergic reactions may simply be the result of the lack of exposure of individuals to germs during childhood. It is believed that exposure to microorganisms during childhood can help in the sufficient development of the body’s immune system and also in establishing a beneficial symbiotic relationship with microbes. David Strachan, British epidemiologist, proposed that children growing up in small families with better amenities may actually be more susceptible to various allergies due to insufficient exposure to germs (Source: ‘The Hindu’ News Paper dated 04.03.19).

Application:

What is your plan for forty days?

You want to have an extended time of Prayer in your personal and family life.

Reading the word of God intensively and interestingly.

You want to reach at least a person for Christ.

You want to take efforts to leaving certain habits which are disturbing your spiritual life and growth.

Repentance of one person brings a greater joy in heaven among angels. Your decision is going to bring joy to the people around you. Repentance is not only good for you but for the people around you.

Repentance is going to exalt you, change you and take you to the highest realm of your life. You will be seated on the right hand of the Father (Phil.2:9). Follow Jesus to have better resurrection (Heb.11:35). Amen.

(For contact: revandrew@rediffmail.com Mobile: 91 9443586008 India)

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