Most people know that if you follow Jesus all through His life, watch every encounter, hear every challenge and listen to every message – what you find is a cross. Jesus never wrote a book – and if He had, it wouldn’t be called, 7 Keys To a Healthy, Prosperous Extraordinary Life! In fact, the natural thought of anyone who watched Jesus’ crucifixion would’ve been, “I’m not following HIM!” Most of His closest followers didn’t even show up that day! It was shameful, humiliating, gory, gross, terrifying – and for those who did follow Jesus, the most discouraging, heart-wrenching day of their lives. But in the agony and uncertainty of the next 3 days, the plot totally shifted. What became crystal clear is that the cross was a defining moment for us, for Jesus, for God and for all creation. Forty days later, the missing piece in people even being able to follow Jesus, came. The Holy Spirit. It’s His power. It’s a defining moment in our surrender to Him that gives us what we need to follow Jesus – and not give in, give out, or give up.

Jesus, Why Don’t You Just Follow Me?

I think if most of us were honest, we’d like the whole follow me part of Jesus’ teaching to be reversed. Let me explain. Autonomy is a huge deal in our world. In fact, I don’t think it would be exaggerating to say that it’s the new religion in North America. Here’s the thought; “If Jesus really loves us… me in particular… He should follow me around and make sure everything goes my way and sprinkle blessing on all my decisions – and on the world to make it a less scary place.  Truth is, God’s biggest challenge isn’t blessing our lives in the truest sense – it’s making us into loving, mature, grateful people who bless others. And that means being like Him – and that happens when we are more than fans… when we follow Him!


They never called them DTR or Define the Relationship talks, but that is what they were. Nicodemus had one. The rich young ruler had one. Matthew had one. And one day Jesus had the DTR talk with a whole bunch of people at one time. What He said that day about following Him scared most of them half to death; deny yourself, take up your cross, follow me…and lose  lose your life. To make a good decision, you need truth, right? We’d like to think of it as a kind of lottery – pay a few bucks, and get a chance at millions. What Jesus does make clear, though, is that following Him is not a shot at the jackpot. To follow Him is to win at life – in the best way possible.  Jesus is simply being honest about the price tag. And you know, there’s always a price to anything that counts, isn’t there?


When people use the phrase, “I’m a believer” it’s not real clear if it’s what they believe about Jesus – or if they believe in Jesus. I say that because it’s clear that all the demons believed stuff about Jesus.  Actually, they knew the truth about Him and it scared them half to death! Which is odd. It seems that if we truly understood who Jesus is and who we aren’t and the reality of the future – we’d be really interested in following the One who is Saviour, Lord of all, Judge over all creation and the One who loves us enough to suffer and die for us.  One day everyone will see Jesus for who He is and what His mission really was. They will see the miraculous things Jesus did and is still doing. They will wish that they’d have followed Him and been all in! If you know the truth about Jesus – you get to do that now!


Long before Jesus’ ancestor, David, came up with Psalm 23, the people of Israel were shepherds – a profession the Egyptians looked down on. It became a well-known metaphor used by the prophets – calling the people of Israel, “God’s flock.” I’m not sure why, except for the fact that sheep are notoriously needy and dependent. Put a herd of cattle in a field, and they’ll pretty much take care of themselves.  But not sheep. Sheep need ongoing attention – just like us.


Most people want to know if someone is using them or committed to them. In love relationships, it’s sometimes really hard to tell the difference, you know – between infatuation – or true love. And when you don’t know, you need to have the DTR talk. The one some guys dread – the Define The Relationship talk. The one that says, “Are we just having fun – or is this relationship actually going somewhere?  When it comes to our relationship with Jesus, He already knows where we’re at – but sometimes we don’t. And we need to know what we’re doing and where we’re going. Are we just fans of Jesus – or will we follow?