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Following Jesus

Published on

November 22, 2021

Last week, we explored a significant moment in the life of the Rich Young Ruler. How it seemed like he wanted the truth but deep down, he really couldn’t handle it. Jesus loved him and told him the truth, but he went away sad and the Bible even uses the word “grieved”.

“And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.” — Mark 10:22

You only grieve over people, but this guy grieved, not necessarily over the loss of his possessions because he had not sold them yet and it was yet to be seen whether he ever carried out that instruction; but he grieved over the thought and possibility of losing his possessions. You typically grieve over people you love! That means this man “loved” his possessions above people, wow!

We can check where your heart truly is by evaluating what grieves you.

Look at the instruction of Jesus to this man; it wasn’t just for him to sell his possessions and give it to the poor, No! It was to do that, and then return to follow Jesus. It was almost as though he didn’t wait to hear that part of the instruction. He was too distracted by the thought of losing his possessions that he missed the big offer! Following Jesus was the big offer, but he completely missed it!

“Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” — Mark 10:21 KJV

Jesus isn’t a kill joy! He is not interested in every rich person out there selling off all their goods and staying wretched, however, He is ultimately more interested in they following him. For this man, his possessions were going to be a significant hindrance in following Jesus, so Jesus needed him to do away with them. They had become the weights and the sins that could easily beset his ability to look unto Jesus. You can’t carry the weights unto Jesus, they need to drop off before you can look unto Him and follow Him.

We have another contrasting but powerful story in Luke 5.

It’s the remarkable story of Peter and Jesus. Peter had toiled all night and caught nothing and was now only washing his nets to pack up for the day. Jesus saw that his boat could be useful to teach the people; taking advantage of the land and sea breezes to project His voice to the people ashore. After His teaching, He wanted to thank Peter and so He asked him to launch into the deep.

We know the story… after a little hesitation from Peter, he obliges and catches what he had never caught in his entire fishing career. This was really hooooge. Lol. It was such a big catch that he could not manage the abundance alone. He had to beckon on his friends to help him drag his now sinking ship and breaking net of fish to the shore.

If you were in his shoes, what would you do?

I imagine many would run after Jesus, thank him, show effusive gratitude and perhaps even give him a brown envelop of some heavy “prophet offering”… and thereafter run back to their fish.

But here is what Peter does…

“And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.” — Luke 5:11 KJV

What!!

They did what??

Peter and the company of friends he had called to assist in his catch, brought their ship, fish and equipment to the land and the Bible says they “forsook” all and followed Jesus. To forsake means to abandone a person or thing with absolute neglect and disregard for their welfare. What that means is that they literally dumped everything they had worked for and gathered over all these years of fishing, including the biggest fish break in their entire career. They just dumped it all on the land and followed Jesus!

Woow!

These ones did it (following Jesus) without Jesus even asking because they had placed a premium on Jesus. You know… it may seem like what they did wasn’t rational at all, but I’ll show you why it indeed was the most rational thing to do.

These guys were professional fishermen, they knew how to catch, where to catch and how to catch fish. They had done these for years, but with all their knowledge and experience, they couldn’t crack the problem of this particularly strange day at the office. And here comes this Man who by simply saying one phrase “launch into the deep and let down your nets for a draught”, and they obeying, they caught the volume of fish they could never have imagined was even possible considering the circumstances.

They evaluated the capacity of what their skillset, experience and knowledge had produced for them in the several years of hard work, against the capacity of what this Man’s Anointing produced for them in one moment and they figured… we are way better off with this Man, than we are without Him. He can make great things of massive proportions happen with little to no prior notice. They were not wrong! One moment he turned a little boy’s lunch into a bakery that fed 5000 men apart from women and children; at another time He walked on stormy waters; then on a day he was in the mood, He turned some jars of water into the best wine the city had ever tasted. This Man is capable of doing things of astounding proportions at very short notice. They followed Him, not for no reason, but for the objective reason of the fact that He was actually bigger in every sense of the word than all their earthly pursuits and ambitions put together!

In the light of this, when Jesus asked the Rich Young Ruler to sell all he had and give to the poor, so he could follow Him, Jesus wasn’t necessarily asking him to lose everything in the real sense. He was saying, sell the inferior and gain the superior. Jesus was perhaps going to make him far richer than he ever was before he sold them, but he needed to place a premium on Jesus in that moment and his evaluation, unlike that of Peter, was that following Jesus was less valuable than sticking with his possessions! How truly sad!

Jesus was simply asking the Rich Young Ruler to do this;

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” — Matthew 13:45‭-‬46 KJV

If you don’t evaluate the pearl to be of great price, you will never sell all you have to buy it. Jesus is that pearl! The price of the pearl is all you have. The “All” is the price. Not 60% or 99% but ALL. Your 30% may be more in volume than my 100% but my ALL will get me Jesus faster than your MORE will ever try. Jesus is not asking for most of you, He is asking for ALL of you… will you follow Him today?

This is what it means to follow Jesus. You don’t just follow Him, you must sell all you have before you can follow Him. That’s how we follow this Jesus! That’s how we give to this Jesus!

A beloved Sister recently asked me, “why do you preach so passionately?”… I think I just got my answer for her; because the only thing Jesus deserves is my ALL.

Have a productive week ahead and God bless your heart.

Dami Oguntunde
Damioguntunde

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