Monday, August 10, 2020
Why do you follow Jesus?
If you don’t, what would make you want to follow Him?
This week we begin the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, and a very familiar story of Jesus feeding over 5,000 people with nothing more than five little loaves of bread and two small fish. The story begins with Jesus going to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, and being followed by a huge crowd of people. John gives us the detail of why they were following Him.
John 6:1-2 After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick.
The crowd was following Jesus because of the signs He was doing.
We are all attracted to the spectacular. We are especially drawn to what would fit into our definition of the miraculous. These people were no different. They had never personally witnessed such physical power and authority over creation. They had never seen the sick spontaneously healed. Of course they were drawn to follow Him. We would be.
But following Jesus because He has power over creation and physical life does not assure eternal life. Sins are not forgiven because we marvel at signs and wonders.
At the end of the feeding of the people, when all the leftovers have been gathered, the people declare, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” Based on the signs He had done, they not only declared Him to be the Prophet of God, but they were prepared to take Him by force and make Him their King. Jesus withdrew from them. Being their King and Prophet was not His purpose at this time.
Most if not all of us would have been a part of that crowd and would have joined in their cause. We are quickly influenced to join the latest cause because it fits into our understanding of what has to happen for our personal kingdom to be enhanced.
Following Jesus can only be based on faith, not sight. Listen to the words of Jesus and one of His disciples.
John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory…
Why do you follow Jesus? Let it be based exclusively on faith in the eternal fact that Jesus is the Son of God, sent to be the Savior of the world by offering His guiltless life in death on the cross as a sacrifice for our guilt.