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October 5 I Saturday

Isaiah 23-25

Philippians 1

“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”   —Matthew 7:28-29

 

When we observe how Jesus called six of His twelve disciples, we notice an interesting approach. While on His way to Galilee, Jesus found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me” (John 1:43). Then by the Sea of Galilee, when Jesus saw Simon Peter, James, John and Andrew, He said to them, “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:18). Another time, He walked by a tax booth and told Matthew, “Follow Me” (Mark 2:14). In these encounters, what is unusual is that each of these men left
everything to follow Jesus.

We could experiment using Jesus’s approach and walk down a street, see someone sitting there doing nothing, and say to that person, “Follow me.” Then keep walking, see another person doing nothing and say, “Follow me,” and continue along to another saying, “Follow me.” Even if some people may follow us out of curiosity, they would probably hang around us for an hour or two, but they would likely return to their own homes at night. And they would most certainly not stay with us for three years and then give up their lives for us––but the disciples did that for Jesus. Because what characterized Jesus’s approach was His authority; in other words, He spoke as though He meant what He said and people recognized His authority.

Now of course, people can be misguided. For example, at the end of World War I, when the 1919 Treaty of Versailles left Germany humiliated, bankrupt and devoid of industrial strength, Adolf Hitler came to the scene. He was a great orator and was able to rally the whole nation of Germany on his side for 12 years––from the
time he was a Chancellor––to fight back. Hitler’s aggressive foreign policy was considered one of the primary causes of World War II.

Yet today, we would not find any followers of Hitler in Germany. No one would call their dog “Hitler” and we would not find a person under the age of 80 named “Adolf.” Nothing is a better test of one’s authoritative power than the test of time. Even after 2,000 years, Christianity is still alive and thriving because there was an authority about Jesus’s life that was not an authority of somebody who was deluded. Even though there are people who oppose Jesus and say, “Hey, this is just a big fraud” and “Let’s get rid of all this,” it does not happen. We can see that Jesus’s authority persists even to this day. How will we respond to Jesus’s call to “follow Me?”

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I choose this day to follow You and submit to Your authority forever. Guard me against falsehood in my life. Thank You, Lord.


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