Following Jesus Christ
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A vast multitude followed Him, because they witnessed the miracles on the sick which He was constantly performing.
When He was sitting at table in Levi's house, a large number of tax-gatherers and notorious sinners were at table with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many such who habitually followed Him.
Jesus listened to the Captain's message and was astonished at him, and He turned and said to the crowd that followed Him, "I tell you that not even in Israel have I found faith like that."
No sooner were the words spoken than the man regained his sight and followed Jesus, giving glory to God; and all the people, seeing it, gave praise to God.
And walking along the shore of the Lake of Galilee He saw two brothers--Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew--throwing a drag-net into the Lake; for they were fishers. And He said to them, "Come and follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." So they immediately left their nets and followed Him. As He went further on,
One day, passing along the shore of the Lake of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, Simon's brother, throwing their nets in the Lake; for they were fisherman. "Come and follow me," said Jesus, "and I will make you fishers for men." At once they left their nets and followed Him.
Going on a little further He saw James the son of Zabdi and his brother John: they also were in the boat mending the nets, and He immediately called them. They therefore left their father Zabdi in the boat with the hired men, and went and followed Him.
Passing on thence Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the Toll Office, and said to him, "Follow me." And he arose, and followed Him.
And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the Toll Office, and said to him, "Follow me." So he rose and followed Him.
After this He went out and noticed a tax-gatherer, Levi by name, sitting at the Toll office; and He said to him, "Follow me." He rose, left everything, and followed Him.
The next day, having decided to leave Bethany and go into Galilee, Jesus found Philip, and invited him to follow Him. (Now Philip came from Bethsaida, the same town as Andrew and Peter.) Then Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, "We have found him about whom Moses in the Law wrote, as well as the Prophets--Jesus, the son of Joseph, a man of Nazareth."
"If you desire to be perfect," replied Jesus, "go and sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have wealth in Heaven; and come, follow me."
Then Jesus looked at him and loved him, and said, "One thing is lacking in you: go, sell all you possess and give the proceeds to the poor, and you shall have riches in Heaven; and come and be a follower of mine."
On receiving this answer Jesus said to him, "There is still one thing wanting in you. Sell everything you possess and give the money to the poor, and you shall have wealth in Heaven; and then come, follow me." But on hearing these words he was deeply sorrowful, for he was exceedingly rich.
"Follow me," He said to another. "Master," the man replied, "allow me first to go and bury my father." "Leave the dead," Jesus rejoined, "to bury their own dead; but you must go and announce far and wide the coming of the Kingdom of God."
For I have been distinctly informed, my brethren, about you by Chloe's people, that there are dissensions among you. What I mean is that each of you is a partisan. One man says "I belong to Paul;" another "I belong to Apollos;" a third "I belong to Peter;" a fourth "I belong to Christ." Is the Christ in fragments? Is it Paul who was crucified on your behalf? Or were you baptized to be Paul's adherents?
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If any one desires to follow me, let him renounce self and take up his cross, and so be my follower. For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it. Why, what benefit will it be to a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give to buy back his life?
Then calling to Him the crowd and also His disciples, He said to them, "If any one is desirous of following me, let him ignore self and take up his cross, and so be my follower. For whoever is bent on securing his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News, will secure it. Why, what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?read more.
For what could a man give to buy back his life?
And He said to all, "If any one is desirous of following me, let him ignore self and take up his cross day by day, and so be my follower. For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake shall save it. Why, what benefit is it to a man to have gained the whole world, but to have lost or forfeited his own self.
Any one who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and any one who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and any one who does not take up his cross and follow where I lead is not worthy of me. To save your life is to lose it, and to lose your life for my sake is to save it.
On His journey vast crowds attended Him, towards whom He turned and said, "If any one is coming to me who does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be a disciple of mine. No one who does not carry his own cross and come after me can be a disciple of mine.read more.
"Which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not sit down first and calculate the cost, asking if he has the means to finish it? -- lest perhaps, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to finish, all who see it shall begin to jeer at him, saying, 'This man began to build, but could not finish.' Or what king, marching to encounter another king in war, does not first sit down and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand men to meet the one who is advancing against him with twenty thousand? If not, while the other is still a long way off, he sends messengers and sues for peace. Just as no one of you who does not detach himself from all that belongs to him can be a disciple of mine.
His answer was, "The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. In most solemn truth I tell you that unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains what it was--a single grain; but that if it dies, it yields a rich harvest. He who holds his life dear, is destroying it; and he who makes his life of no account in this world shall keep it to the Life of the Ages.
when a Scribe came and said to Him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." "Foxes have holes," replied Jesus, "and birds have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
And, as they proceeded on their way, a man came to Him and said, "I will follow you wherever you go." "The foxes have holes," said Jesus, "and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
"Master," said yet another, "I will follow you; but allow me first to go and say good-bye to my friends at home." Jesus answered him, "No one who has put his hand to the plough, and then looks behind him, is fit for the Kingdom of God.
Thereupon many of His disciples left Him and went away, and no longer associated with Him.
So after He had washed their feet, put on His garments again, and returned to the table, He said to them, "Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me 'The Rabbi' and 'The Master,' and rightly so, for such I am. If I then, your Master and Rabbi, have washed your feet, it is also your duty to wash one another's feet.read more.
For I have set you an example in order that you may do what I have done to you. In most solemn truth I tell you that a servant is not superior to his master, nor is a messenger superior to him who sent him. If you know all this, blessed are you if you act accordingly.
This He said to indicate the kind of death by which that disciple would bring glory to God; and after speaking thus He said to him, "Follow me."
But this I confess to you--that in the way which they style a heresy, I worship the God of our forefathers, believing everything that is taught in the Law or is written in the Prophets,
And may God, the giver of power of endurance and of that encouragement, grant you to be in full sympathy with one another in accordance with the example of Christ Jesus,
Be imitators of me, in so far as I in turn am an imitator of Christ.
And you followed the pattern set you by us and by the Master, after you had received the Message amid severe persecution, and yet with the joy which the Holy Spirit gives,
If you do wrong and receive a blow for it, what credit is there in your bearing it patiently? But if when you do right and suffer for it you bear it patiently, this is an acceptable thing with God. And it is to this you were called; because Christ also suffered on your behalf, leaving you an example so that you should follow in His steps. He never sinned, and no deceitful language was ever heard from His mouth.read more.
When He was reviled, He did not answer with reviling; when He suffered He uttered no threats, but left His wrongs in the hands of the righteous Judge.
These are those who had not defiled themselves with women: they are as pure as virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They have been redeemed from among men, as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.
They will make war upon the Lamb, and the Lamb will triumph over them; for He is Lord of lords and King of kings. And those who accompany Him--called, as they are, and chosen, and faithful--shall share in the victory."
Then Peter said to Jesus, "See, *we* have forsaken everything and followed you; what then will be *our* reward?" "I solemnly tell you," replied Jesus, "that in the New Creation, when the Son of Man has taken His seat on His glorious throne, all of you who have followed me shall also sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. And whoever has forsaken houses, or brothers or sisters, or father or mother, or children or lands, for my sake, shall receive many times as much and shall have as his inheritance the Life of the Ages.read more.
"But many who are now first will be last, and many who are now last will be first.
"Remember," said Peter to Him, "that we forsook everything and have become your followers." "In solemn truth I tell you," replied Jesus, "that there is no one who has forsaken house or brothers or sisters, or mother or father, or children or lands, for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, but will receive a hundred times as much now in this present life--houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, lands--and persecution with them--and in the coming age the Life of the Ages.read more.
But many who are now first will be last, and the last, first."
Then Peter said, "See, we have given up our homes and have followed you." "I solemnly tell you," replied Jesus, "that there is no one who has left house or wife, or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of God's Kingdom, who shall not certainly receive many times as much in this life, and in the age that is coming the Life of the Ages."
Once more Jesus addressed them. "I am the Light of the world," He said; "the man who follows me shall certainly not walk in the dark, but shall have the light of Life."
If a man wishes to be my servant, let him follow me; and where I am, there too shall my servant be. If a man wishes to be my servant, the Father will honour him.
- Commitment, to Jesus Christ
- Crowds Around Jesus
- Gospel, Responses To
- How Disciples Are Called
- Instructions About Following
- Jesus Healing
- Self Denial
- Self Sacrifice
- Discipleship, cost of