Coming After Jesus

Everyone will admit that if we are to come after Jesus, we must know Him. For we are to come after HIM: not after a Jesus of our own imagination, who after all is only an idol, but after Jesus Who is truly the Christ. We must therefore know Him as He is. He alone is able to tell us who He is, and if we are to come after Him then we must first of all and always be sure that we are not following after an idol but truly after Him. For to come after Him means that I walk behind Him, in His footsteps, in the way which He has prescribed for me in His Word. Always, in that Word, Jesus is going before us. And in the constant searching of that Word we see Him as He goes before us and we know the way in which He walks and the way in which we must walk to come after Him. If I would come after Jesus I must always have an answer to the question: Where is Jesus? I must have that answer in all my life, in all circumstances and relationships, in my work, in the home, in the church and in the world in which I have been called by His grace to reveal and to confess His name.

Would you come after Jesus?

Be not too hasty in your assertion. That means a very difficult way. Three things are constantly required: let him deny himself— let him take up his cross—and follow Jesus. And if only now the Lord had said that we should deny ourselves something, the matter would not seem so hopeless. But to deny one’s self, that is very difficult indeed. For that means that self is an enemy that stands in the way of being Jesus’ disciple. That means that that self must be put down, trampled underfoot, mortified. Never may that self be allowed to boast, never may it have the satisfaction of its evil desires. Self must be denied. And that implies the willing on our part to be nothing in the eyes of others, to have no honor and praise of men, for the sake of our Lord. Yes, it means, if need be, to part with life itself. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it”, and “What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” But there is more. Self-denial is not sufficient; that is only the first step. There is also a cross that must be taken up and borne. And that cross is not to be conceived of in a general sense as though it would signify the measure of suffering that is common to every individual in the world. But that cross is the cross of Christ as it overshadows those who cling to it. Not a cross of atonement, for that cross only Christ alone could and did bear. But the cross of Christ as the expression of the hatred of all the forces of darkness. They hated Him and to express their hatred they nailed Him to the cross. And they hate those that come after Him because He is in them and becomes manifest in them. This cross is therefore the reproach and persecution of the world. And if you come after Jesus, then you must take it up. You may not seek to evade it or to compromise with the world and its prince. But you must take it up and manifest thereby that you choose the reproach of Christ rather than the friendship of the wicked. And then, when you have taken up that cross, follow Jesus.

Are you coming after Jesus? Would you always do that?

Remember, the birds have nests and the foxes have holes but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head. Remember, he that will not forsake father and mother, brother and sister, wife and child, houses and land, he is not worthy of Me; he does not and cannot come after Jesus.

Shall we still, in the face of all this, come after Jesus?

These things are real. We meet with them every day in our life in the midst of the world. Our sinful self always plagues us and we are constantly being tempted on every side by the powers of darkness. We are scorned and derided by the children of darkness who revel in the pleasures of sin. Jesus isn’t popular and we can’t be popular when we come after Him. We might as well realize that right now; it will save us bitter disappointment later on. The way is not easy, nay, it is most difficult. But we know that His grace is sufficient. And when by His grace we come after Him, then by that same grace He upholds us and brings us to the glorious end which He has promised. For coming after Him, we shall find Him. Some day we shall be where He is now.

Forever in glory!