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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 451-500 (The Word - Wedges)

F.E. Marsh :: 482. “What Does It Mean to Follow Jesus?”

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IT is well that we should ponder the privileges of the Christian life, but we must not forget that those privileges mean corresponding responsibilities; and it is also well to remember that we cannot fulfil the responsibilities, only as we enjoy by faith the privileges. To come to Christ, and to receive from Christ, are our privileges; and to abide in Christ, and to follow after Him, are our responsibilities.

To follow Christ, means at least three things; and these are—
sacrifice, suffering, and glory.

  1. Sacrifice. In the case of the disciples it meant leaving their nets (Matthew 4:19-20): with Matthew, forsaking the “receipt of custom” (Matthew 9:9); and with the rich young ruler it was “sell all that thou hast, and distribute to the poor” (Luke 18:22). To follow Christ, means at least two things, namely, the denial of self itself (Matthew 16:24); and the putting Christ and His claims first (Luke 9:57-62).
  2. Suffering. Christ’s distinct and definite command to Peter, as He tells him that he will have to die for Him, is, “Follow Me” (John 21:19). Peter understood that to mean death (2 Peter 1:14). There is a “cross” for every follower of Christ (Mark 10:21), and a death to the self-life, in order that we may bring forth fruit unto God (John 12:24-26). Jordan with its baptism, Gethsemane with its bitter cup, Gabbatha with its fiendish mockery, Golgotha with its shame, the Cross with its suffering, the darkness with its cry, and Calvary with its death, have their counterpart in our experience.
  3. Glory. It is to His followers that Christ promises that they shall “sit in the throne of His glory” (Matthew 19:28); who shall be with Him, and also be honoured by the Father (John 12:26). Christ not only leads His followers to the Mount of Calvary to suffer with Him, but He also leads them to the Mount of Transfiguration, that they may be glorified with Him.

To follow Christ in holiness of life, in compassion of heart, in devotion of service, in abandonment of will, in patience of spirit, in earnestness of soul, and in loyalty to truth, is to evidence that we are His sheep (John 10:27). Surely, this is the least we can do, even as Bartimaeus (Mark 10:52), and the noble band of women (Matthew 27:55). Of the former we read, “He followed Jesus in the way,” and of the latter we read, “which followed Jesus into Galilee, ministering unto Him.”

481. What an Imperfect Heart Means ← Prior Section
483. What Every Man Needs Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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