Following Is Most Important
When Jesus first started his ministry he did two things. He started teaching, and he called
disciples. He wanted people to know and understand God. Part of that was just explaining
the law and how it should be understood. It had been so distorted in its priorities that it was
hardly recognizable. It was more about tithing and Sabbath than it was about loving God. He
also needed people to know that what he wanted most was for people to become disciples.
They were to follow him and learn from him. They would not know everything, but they were
in the learning process. The twelve were examples of how to follow Jesus. Following Jesus
is always a learning process no matter how long we have been following.
Jesus also wanted the twelve to be able to do certain things. He wanted them to be fishers
of men. That may seem like a simple thing, but our efforts have shown that it is not. It doesn’t
appear that it was easy for them either. Many people did not understand enough to keep
following. They started easily because it was new and exciting, but that did not mean they
would continue. Even with miracles, they did not continue. If they didn’t need the miracle
right then, it was easy to forget to follow. Jesus wanted them to know that the person they
were following was more important than any miracle they could receive.
One of the reasons we lack leadership in the church is because we lack people who really
follow. To be a leader we must have been able to follow Jesus, and let him continue to be
lord in our life. Jesus emphasis was on surrender to God and allowing him to be the guide
in our life. The main correction Jesus made with his disciples was when they began to
see themselves as greater than other disciples. They wanted to be the leader over others
without following Jesus like he wanted. He wanted their attitude to change. He wanted them
to lead but not if they were going to do it like Pharisees.
We must always keep the end in mind that we are here to follow Jesus as his disciple. Our
example of following is greater than our example of leading. Jesus made sure he had the
example of disciples following him from the beginning of his ministry. Today we want to claim
we have leaders in charge. Good leaders are better followers. It is when people see how
leaders follow Jesus that they will follow their lead. Jesus came as a servant to teach us to
be servants so that all can learn to be servants of God.