Did you ever play the game “Follow the Leader” when you were a child? The rules are easy. One person is the leader and the rest follow, doing the same things the leader does. Most of the time, the leader takes the group running, skipping, jumping over obstacles, spinning, rolling down the hill, and, most of the time, they end up in some type of laughing mess. Grins on their faces reveal the sheer joy of the game. Jesus invites us. “Come, follow me,” He says. Unfortunately, most adults have lost the love of following the leader. Instead we require information like, Where are we going? How long will it take to get there? What do I need to bring? How long will we be gone? And, without affirmation of the answer, we refuse to budge. In turn, we miss the adventure altogether. The invitation to follow Jesus is open-ended. Anyone can come. Anyone can participate, but only if they follow His lead. Answers aren’t guaranteed, the path is often hidden, but if we want to enjoy the game, we must follow the Leader.
Jesus picked twelve men as His inner circle they missed a lot that Jesus was trying to teach them, but they didn’t miss the central issue. That’s obvious in
John 6:66 From that timemany of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Vast multitudes are following Him, no matter where He goes. Then He confronts them with the fact that this is going to be about more than miracles and meetings; it’s going to involve the shedding of blood, the laying down of His life, and a price tag for those who follow Him. ‘You do not want to leave, too, do you?’ Jesus asked the twelve.
John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Simon Peter answered Him,
John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
John 6:69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. See, they knew that it was all about Jesus and that He was the only One with anything that would last, that was worth living and dying for. That’s what Jesus was saying when He repeatedly said to people, “Follow Me.” He didn’t say “Follow My religion” or “Follow My followers” or “Follow My rules.” He said, “Follow Me.” It’s all about Jesus. And if you know someone who’s away from Him right now, here’s how to pray for them, “Lord Jesus, help them realize how much they miss You.” Satan would love to keep your focus on the Christians who hurt you, or the hypocrites who turned you off, or the sin that’s taken you away. But it’s not Christians you’ve left or church or some religious rules, it’s Jesus you’ve left! Remember how it felt when you were close to Him? Don’t you miss Him? Why not be Like the Prodigal Son, His father was waiting for him to come home. There’s nothing you’ve done that He didn’t take care of on the cross. And His love is unconditional. And maybe you have missed, up until this point, even having one day with Christ in your life. Oh, if you only knew the difference He could make, you’d run to Him.