How exactly do we become a follower of Jesus? What does the Bible say?
[Darris McNeely] How do you become a follower of Jesus Christ? How do you come to Jesus? You know, sometimes people have what we call a "come to Jesus moment." They have an enlightened realization that they need God in their life. They come to a point where they feel this relationship with Jesus Christ, His son. But how Biblically do we come to that? We've been asked that question here on "Beyond Today." Frankly, it's a long-standing question that every disciple of Jesus Christ must come to understand and to answer.
I wanna take you in this episode that answers this question to Matthew chapter 11, and begin reading to you in verse 28, through another statement made by Jesus, that helps us to piece together an answer to this question, how do we come to Jesus and follow Him, and become a disciple?
Christ was speaking here in Matthew 11, beginning in verse 28, He makes a wonderful statement, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy," He concludes, "and My burden is light." You probably know that verse, that Scripture. It's a comforting one. It's an encouraging one. It's a very open approach that Christ has to us, inviting us to come if you're heavy laden, in other words, the cares of life have burdened you down, knocked you around, giving you a lot of hard luck. "Come to Me," He says, "and I will give you rest." Don't we all want that spiritual rest? Don't we want a pause? A pause that refreshes in that sense? Well, we do. And this is the most comforting statement from Christ. And it is aimed at those burdened down with life, who would receive a simple and direct invitation from Christ to come to Him and have a relationship, people whose lives are not cluttered by the idols of illusion.
Well, note something though. If you go back earlier in that chapter, Matthew 11 and, again, following a Biblical principle, follow the context. The context also includes in that Christ's denouncement of people in the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida, saying, "Woe to those in those cities," because they rejected His message. They wouldn't come to Jesus, and He likened them to the same fate that befell Sodom and Gomorrah. And He even said to the Father in this as well, He said, He thanked God in that same chapter, that His teaching was, "hidden from the wise and the prudent." Imagine Christ saying to God, "Thank you that my message is hidden from the wise and the prudent." Interesting. Again, people who are too busy for the Gospel, too busy for Christ, too busy to obey. And yet there's something working here and yet Jesus then says, "Come to Me all you who are heavy and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Christ wants us to come to Him.
But in this chapter, we're finding also something else to this picture, which will lead us to an answer, that Christ's message, God's message is hidden. And that just like the cities, of Chorazin and Bethsaida, not everybody is listening. Not everybody is understanding. Not everybody is actually seeking to come to Jesus, not in His first coming during His life and not certainly today. That has to be understood at the heart of the answer to this question, how do we come to Jesus and how do we follow Him? What Christ said, "Come who are heavy laden and those who are burdened down," is an inviting message, but we have to understand exactly what we're asked to do in return for that very grace that God gives to us.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.