When I was growing up, my dad always told me, “Be a leader, not a follower.” If you think about it, for someone to follow you, they need a reason. My Dad’s advice then meant, I needed to be someone worth following. So when Jesus comes to us and asks us to follow Him. We need a reason to follow Him. The Bible provides us with those reasons.
With that in mind, over the next two posts, I will answer the following questions:
- Why should we follow Jesus?
- What gets in the way of following Jesus?
- What do we need to do to remove the hindrance from follow Jesus?
Let’s start with the first question:
WHY SHOULD WE FOLLOW JESUS?
In Matthew 8, several scenes attest to the power and authority of Jesus.
Jesus Heals Many
In 8:1-15, Jesus heals a Leper, a Centurion’s servant, and Peter’s Mother-in-Law. All three healings take place immediately, and with just a word. As soon as Jesus spoke, the leprosy was gone and the man was clean, the Centurion’s servant was healed before he returned home, and Peter’s Mother-in-Law was able to serve them moments after Jesus healed her.
Not only did Jesus heal these three people, but many more. Matthew continues:
“That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.” (Mt 8:16)
Jesus shows not only His power over sickness, but the spiritual world as well.
The Turbulent Sea
As we continue on in the narrative, Jesus commands His disciples to follow Him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Several men pile in a boat, but soon a great storm arises. Fearful for their lives, they wake Jesus, who is sleeping, and the men say,
“Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” (Mt 8:25)
Jesus does what only God can do, He calms the sea and rebukes the wind, so that a sea threatening to swallow the boat and the men into a watery grave turns into a sheet of glass, allowing the men safe passage to the other side.
Two Demon Possessed Men
Once they reached the other side, two demon-possessed men who had been tormenting the region come out to meet Him. The men, controlled by demons, say,
“What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” (Mt 8:29)
The Demons explicitly say what the other scenes had been pointing to – Jesus is the Son of God. Not only did they recognize Him as God, but they also recognized His authority and right to judge and punish them.
What does Matthew 8 reveal?
Matthew reveals Jesus’ authority over all things. Which leads to the idea:
If Jesus has full authority over all things, and His authority points to Him being God, we must Follow Him, Surrender all to Him, and Worship Him.
So the answer to our first question reveals we should follow Jesus because of who He is – God.
Question for Reflection
- Do you believe Jesus being God is a reason to follow Him?
In the next post in this series, we will answer the questions: What gets in the way of us following Jesus? What do we need to do to remove the hindrance from follow Jesus?
This series is adapted from my recent sermon: Why Should We Follow Jesus?