In secondary school a teacher once told us a story about how we go through life with a “bag”. The different experiences we pass through may warrant us to put things into or take things out of our “bags”. Life happens and we may have to go through many experiences and gather things in our “bags”. The “bags” could become heavy and begin to weigh us down.  Then we are unable to move and remain stagnant and cannot even follow Him (Jesus). The things in our “bags “don’t have to be physical and they don’t have to be negative either. They could be personality traits or even emotions such as joy, patience, kindness. Sometimes they could also be physical things like attachments to our houses, cars, etc.

The account in Matthew 4 gives a description of how Jesus chose his first four disciples, and how He told them to follow Him.

In Matthew 4:19-20 (KJV)And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of   men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.”

Jesus called Simon Peter and Andrew. He said to them, “Follow me” and they did, no questions and  no excuses. It says they straightaway followed Him.

Matthew 4:21-22 KJVAnd going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”

Jesus called James and John and immediately they left their ship and their father and they followed Him.

For these four men above, fishing was their profession, their livelihood and their source of income, basically it was all they did. But when Jesus called them they followed, immediately and straightaway. They left everything behind, James and John even left their father, Zebedee behind. We may not know the exact words that were used but it doesn’t seem likely that Jesus had to explain in detail why they should follow him. They didn’t know the promises in store for them yet they followed.

We as people may find it hard to leave our town, state, county or province let alone country. But these men followed Jesus, not allowing any “bags” to stop them. They must have travelled far from home not knowing what to expect. They might even have been laughed at or made fun of, but they held on to their choices.

In the gospel of Luke there is also an account of Jesus choosing some disciples.

Luke 9:57-58, 61-62 KJV

“57And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.”

The first man offered to follow him and Jesus replied him saying;

“58And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”

Letting the man know that it was not all rosy, Jesus made it clear that to follow Him was serious commitment. Jesus Christ; the King of Kings and the Son of God did not have an earthly house, mansion or palace. God always provided for him and he never lacked.

“61And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.

62And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

It is not that Jesus said the man should not love his family but that the Kingdom of God is immediate. There is no time to waste and you cannot allow yourself to be slowed down. Excuses beget excuses and tomorrow becomes “in 2 days”, then “in 3 days” and on and on. Jesus is asking us to follow Him; He is calling us now; telling us to put our eyes on Him and on heaven.

Luke 9:23 KJV “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

This verse sums up everything.

It mentions carrying our cross daily, not just on Sundays or days we feel like; daily. Yes, the Christian walk is challenging but it is not impossible. Jesus will not give us anything we cannot bear. So whatever “bags” were weighing us down this year, whatever things that prevented  us from following Him, let us leave them behind; let us get rid of them. We should not go into 2018 pulling along unnecessary baggage from 2017. We know ourselves and our struggles but we should tell them to Jesus and he will give us rest.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28 KJV

This is something to reflect on as the New Year approaches.

Wishing you a Happy New Year.

Ifeoluwa Jaiyesimi ©

The Revolutionary Righter ©