Following Jesus

Matthew 8:18-27 - Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. 19  And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 20  And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 21  And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 22  But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. 23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24  And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25  And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26  And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27  But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!


See also Mark 4:35-41      Luke 8:22-25


Different types of followers:

1.      Compare verse 16 and verse 18 - Those that follow Jesus for what they can get out of it.

2.      Verses 18-22 - Those that follow Jesus with one foot in the world.  These are “worldly Christians” (if there is such a thing.)  They want to follow the traditions of the world and still follow Christ - this is impossible to do.

3.      Verses 23 - Those that follow Jesus because God has called them to follow.  They follow willingly, but ignorantly.  As time progresses, and they learn more and more about God’s plan for their lives, they become strong Christians.


I.       It is important to follow Jesus.

A.    Many decide to follow Jesus right after a great revival, or some great happening.

1.      Mark 4:36 states there were other little ships that also followed Jesus.  A person had better be in the ship Jesus is in, or when the storms of life come along, they will be lost.

2.      A person needs to be in the right church, there are many different kinds of churches, but there is only one kind of church that Jesus built.

B.    Jesus didn’t encourage people to follow Him until after they had counted the cost.

C.    Verse 19,20 - It isn’t that Jesus didn’t have a house to live in, because John 1:39 - Two disciples came to see where Jesus dwelt and stayed with him because it was the tenth hour, or about 4:00 p.m.  People must be willing to give up their houses, farms, lands, and everything else to serve God.  God might not ask them to give all this up, but they should be willing to give them up.

D.    Verse 21,22 - The passage isn’t talking about not attending funerals.  It is talking about the custom of a person staying with their parents and taking daily care of them until the parents die.  Jesus didn’t do this.  He died before His mother died.  The term “let the dead bury the dead” refers to letting the dead (the lost) continue to follow the traditions of the world.  Those that are saved must forsake the traditions of this world to follow Jesus.


II.    The ship was covered with waves.

A.    Why did the storm come up?

1.      To show the small faith of the disciples.

2.      To show the great power of God.

B.    This is not a small boat, but a ship.

1.      Christ had already chosen all of his disciples, so all of them were with Him.

2.      This large boat, or ship, was ready to sink.


III.  Why did Christ challenge their faith?

A.    They called on Christ, but they weren’t following Him.

1.      They should have been asleep when He was asleep, if they were going to follow Him.

2.      They called out in fear for their lives, not with a calm reassuring faith.

B.    They didn’t understand God’s plan for them or Christ.

1.      They weren’t going to die, because God had other plans for them.

2.      They couldn’t die because they were in the ship with Jesus and He was to die on the cross of Calvary for the sins of the world.