Read Mark 2:13-17 and note what happens when Jesus calls Levi the tax collector to follow Him.
What’s holding you back from truly following Jesus? What happens when we surrender all that we are and what we possess to Him?
Grandpa was a gentle but firm primary school principal in Pretoria, South Africa. In my final year as a student teacher, he shared a few trade secrets with me. His advice on how to get a disruptive pupil out of the classroom and into isolation was most helpful: “Look the child in the eye and say with authority, ‘Follow me,’ then turn and walk confidently out of the classroom while not looking back.” I tested his advice when dealing with an unruly adolescent and, though I doubted it would work, I soon heard him reluctantly following me.
Jesus wasn’t summoning disruptive or unruly students when He called the fishermen Simon and Andrew, but He did say, “Come, follow me” (Mark 1:17). They left their nets immediately and walked behind Jesus, becoming His disciples (Mark 1:18). Later, when Jesus called the brothers James and John, they also followed, leaving their father Zebedee and his workers (Mark 1:19-20).
One young man would not follow Jesus, the rich young ruler. He had obeyed the law, but something eluded him—eternal life (Mark 10:17). When Jesus told him to sell everything, give the money to the poor, and follow Him, the man could not do it. His love of earthly riches held him enslaved to this world (Mark 10:21-22).
Just as the unruly student recognized the authority of the teacher and the fishermen responded to the authority of Jesus, so should we respond to the authority of the Savior as He calls us to follow Him. He doesn’t guarantee a trouble-free life (John 16:33), but He does promise a rich and satisfying one (John 10:10).
In surrendering everything we hold dear on this earth, we gain the one thing the rich young ruler needed most—the true riches of eternal life.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Judges 15:1-20
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