Can you imagine how glad the disciples must have been that they had chosen to drop everything to follow Jesus? That when they heard him say, “Follow me”, they left life the way they were doing it behind and followed him. No questions asked, and they never looked back.
When Jesus first approached them, the disciples didn’t know who he was. They had probably heard of him. The humble teacher from Nazareth who even as a young boy had understanding and answers that amazed people. (Luke 2:46-47) They likely heard the preaching of John the Baptist about the One who would be coming to rescue Israel. Maybe they had even heard the story about the baptism of Jesus and the voice from heaven that proclaimed his Sonship. (Luke 3:21-22) They no doubt saw the crowds of people drawn to him when he preached the word of God. And they must have felt something special about him when he approached them personally and held out his hand. Something that caused them to follow him without hesitation.
Peter was fishing along with his brother Andrew and fellow fishermen James and John when Jesus climbed aboard his boat and used it as a stage from which to teach the people lining the shore. Then Jesus demonstrated his power when he filled their empty nets with fish. They were immediately impacted by the greatness of this man named Jesus and they left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:1-11)
Matthew was sitting at his post collecting taxes and seen as a traitor by the Jews for taking their money for the Romans. And yet Jesus, a Jew himself, walked right up to him and said, “follow me”. Matthew left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:27-28)
Once Jesus found Philip and asked him to follow, Philip did not hesitate and then he immediately started telling people about him and imploring them to come and see. (John 1:43-46)
The other disciples all have their own story of where they were when Jesus asked them to follow him, and they all said “yes”. They spent time with him and developed a relationship with him. He taught them. He comforted them. He prayed for them. He died for them. And then he rose to life and stood before them proclaiming to them the victory that he had won over sin and death. When he finally ascended into heaven, he sent them his Holy Spirit to continue to empower them to accomplish his purpose. To go and tell the whole world what they knew to be true. That Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father except through him. (John 14:6)
Today Jesus is coming to you and asking you to follow him. What will your response be? Will you leave life as you know it behind and follow him? The same thing that was true for the disciples 2,000 years ago is true for you today. Saying “yes” to following Jesus is the very best “YES”!
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12