Why Do You Follow Him?
Briefing: Do you have a favorite sports team? Do you follow the teams from your high school or college?
Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 6:1-15.
On the Street: As I read through the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 I began to wonder if anyone who was following Jesus, really knew who He was or why they were following Him.
In law enforcement, we sometimes have to follow people. We usually know why we are following the person and what we are looking for. It’s unusual that we follow some random person for no reason.
In these passages we see why the crowd initially followed Jesus. In John 15:2 (NIV) we read, “a great crowd followed Him because they saw the miraculous signs He had performed on the sick.” From this verse, I imagine some were following Jesus for a show and entertainment. Some probably wanted healing for themselves or family members. Others were there just because they follow the crowd.
At the end of verse 15, we see that the crowd began to have different reasons of why they wanted to follow Jesus. They still did not get it. Once they saw the miracles He had performed, they wanted to take Jesus and make Him their military leader. Can you imagine being in the crowd and seeing someone who can heal the wounded and feed an army with just five loaves of bread and two fish? It’s no wonder they wanted to have Him as their leader! With power like this you could conquer the world!
I am not Christ and can’t read the hearts and minds of all the people who were following Him, but I can tell from this passage that these people were not following Jesus for the right reasons. Some wanted to see the miracles. Some wanted to be entertained, and some wanted to make Him the leader of their revolutionary army. These verses do not say that anyone in the crowd followed Jesus because He was the Messiah. It’s a good thing I’m not Jesus. I would not have the patience and compassion He had. He knew this and still wanted to show how much He loved them.
It is very easy to read this passage 2,000 years later and make harsh judgments about the people involved in this story. The question you need to ask is, “Why am I following Jesus?” This assumes you are a Christ follower, and I pray that you are. Are you following Him because it is what your parents did? Is it because your spouse makes you go to church or expects you to set a good example for your kids?
Ask yourself honestly, “why do I follow Christ?”
Investigational Resources: This is the only miracle of Jesus’ that is mentioned in all four gospels. It can also be found in Matthew 14:13, Mark 6:32-44, and Luke 9:10-17.
Officer Safety Principle: Follow Jesus because you have made Him Lord of your life.
from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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