Summary: The cost, the commitment, and the consequences of responding to the Lord’s call - Follow Me!
Matthew 4:19 [AMP]
He said to them, Come after Me [as disciples - letting Me be your Guide], follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men!
Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, [JBP]
I THE CROWDS THAT FOLLOWED JESUS
Matthew 4:25 Large crowds followed him wherever he went. [NLT]
Why did they follow Jesus?
1. THEY FOLLOWED BECAUSE OF THE MIRACLES EVIDENCED
Matthew 4:24 News about him spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon-possessed or epileptic or paralyzed - he healed them all. [NLT]
2. THE FOLLOWED BECAUSE OF THE MYSTERY EVOKED
Mark 5:24 a great crowd kept following Him and pressed Him from all sides [so as almost to suffocate Him]. [AMP]
II THE COST OF FOLLOWING JESUS
What is needed to follow Jesus?
1. THE NEED TO DETERMINE THE COST
Luke 14:25-33 Great crowds were following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26 “If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters - yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me. 28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if there is enough money to pay the bills? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of funds. And then how everyone would laugh at you! 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and ran out of money before it was finished!’ 31 "Or what king would ever dream of going to war without first sitting down with his counsellors and discussing whether his army of ten thousand is strong enough to defeat the twenty thousand soldiers who are marching against him? 32 If he is not able, then while the enemy is still far away, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace. 33 So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me.
2. THE NEED TO DIE TO SELF
Matthew 16:24-25. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
3. THE NEED TO DECIDE ON VALUES
John 6:66 After this, many of His disciples drew back (returned to their old associations) and no longer accompanied Him. [AMP]
III THE COMMITMENT TO FOLLOW JESUS
Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered him, If you would be perfect [that is, have that spiritual maturity which accompanies self-sacrificing character], go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; and come, be My disciple [side with My party and follow Me]. [AMP]
True commitment can only be entered into when there is a willingness to pay the price required.
1. COMMITMENT IS RELATIVE TO DESIRE
I Corinthians 13:5 Love is not self-seeking,
Mark 9:35 Jesus sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” [NLT]
2. COMMITMENT REQUIRES DIRECTION
I Corinthians 10:24 Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. [NIV]
IV THE CONSEQUENCE OF FOLLOWING JESUS
Following Jesus brings results, but not always instantaneously.
1. THE PROCESS
Matthew 4:19 Come after Me [as disciples—letting Me be your Guide], follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men! [AMP]
2. THE PROMISE
Mark 10:28-31 Then Peter began to mention all that he and the other disciples had left behind. "We’ve given up everything to follow you," he said. 29 And Jesus replied, "I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return, a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property - with persecutions. And in the world to come they will have eternal life.
31 But many who seem to be important now will be the least important then, and those who are considered least here will be the greatest then."