What does it mean to follow Jesus? Part 2 – Faith

faithwhatdoesitmeantofollowjesus

Faith is essential to following Jesus

In Part 1 we established that knowing Jesus is the key to begin able to follow Jesus. Knowing Jesus can only be accomplished through faith. Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Taking steps of faith will enable us to grow in our knowledge of Jesus.

This is illustrated very clearly in Mark 10:46-52. Jesus is passing through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem. There was a great crowd following Him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that Jesus was passing he began to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David have mercy on me.” He was basically screaming at the top of his lungs a request for healing while proclaiming that Jesus was the promised Messiah. Though there was a large crowd most of them were not following because they though that Jesus was the Messiah Jesus expressed this when he said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves (John 6:26 ESV).” Though Bartimaeus was physically blind he saw quite a lot spiritually. The people began to tell him to be quiet but nothing could silence his passion. He just cried out louder. Jesus stopped and called the blind man to him. Then Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Blind Bartimaeus immediately responded, “My teacher, let me recover my sight.” Jesus replied, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”

Jesus makes it very clear that Bartimaeus was healed as a direct result of his faith. He demonstrated this faith by stepping out on what he had never seen but only heard. Bartimaeus believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah. It is what he was screaming out at the top of his lungs. The last part of Mark 10:52 is what we need to understand, “And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.” Blind Bartimaeus could see instantaneously. How exciting that must have been for him. He was freed from a world of darkness by the light of Jesus Christ. So what did he do with his new found sight? He immediately followed Jesus. He had faith in Jesus and the direct result of that faith was for him to follow Jesus.

What is Faith?

Faith in our culture has come to be almost synonymous with religion. This however is not the biblical definition. Faith is defined here in two parallel almost identical phrases, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 ESV).” Faith is more than a longing that something will come to pass. It is so real that this hope brings absolute assurance. It is believing in God against what the world or our experience tells us. The second phrase takes this truth and adds to it action. Conviction is the outward manifestation of the of this assurance. Faith is more than a concept it requires action. James said, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (James 2:17 ESV).” Faith is not faith unless it is active. Active faith is described as a walking, “For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV)” Walking by faith is following Jesus.

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, (Colossians 2:6 ESV)” Our walk is to be characterized by faith. The difference is a person only get saved once. Salvation involves one decision of faith, but walking involves reiterated steps. Following Jesus is simply walking in His steps. “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; (Psalm 37:23 ESV)” Following Jesus is choosing to walk by faith.

I’d love to hear what you think about faith. Please comment below with questions or testimony about how you are learning to follow Jesus through faith.

What does it mean to Follow Jesus? – Part 1

knowwhatdoesitmeantofollowjesus

Our mission at Harvest:

is to win and disciple followers of Jesus Christ and to teach them to impact the world through our community, Castle Rock. I believe that God has given us the ability as a church to accomplish this mission. But, before we can start the process of winning, discipling, teaching, and impacting our community, we must become followers of Jesus. The powerful work of the church begins with who we choose follow.

What does it mean to follow Jesus?

I am going to take the next few weeks to pursue answering this question. I have to admit that I don’t have the complete answer to this question yet. Let me explain. Our ability to follow Jesus is a direct outgrowth of our knowledge of Him. An unbeliever can’t follow Jesus because he or she doesn’t know Him. Paul said, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV).” He is contrasting our knowledge of Jesus here on earth and our knowledge of Him when we see Him in heaven. We will never know Jesus here on earth like we will in heaven.

Though we don’t have this compete knowledge, we do have the privilege of pursuing Him in a personal relationship. Through this relationship our knowledge of him will grow. 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (ESV).” We are given the ability to follow Christ as we get to know him through His Word. Paul was amazed with this concept and he wrote, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ … that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death (Philippians 3:8,10 ESV).” The key to following Jesus is knowing Jesus. So I will end with this question. How well do you know Jesus?

If you are reading this and don’t know Jesus. I have good news for you. The Bible was written so that you can know Him. Click here for a link to page on our site that will tell you how you can know for sure that you have a relationship with Christ. If this is something that interests you feel free to send me an email. I would love to help you answer your questions from God’s Word. “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13 ESV).”

Feel free to share your ideas about what it means to follow Jesus in the comments below.