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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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"Would Jesus Follow You?"

Matthew 9:18-26 records the astonishing miracle of Jesus raising a synagogue ruler's daughter from the dead. Mark's account tells us that the ruler's name was Jairus and that the girl was 12 years old (Mark 5:22, 42). The power and willingness of Jesus to intervene and change people's lives when all seems hopeless is one of the things that makes me glad to be a gospel preacher. I never have to wonder if Jesus is willing or able to intervene in the lives of people who have nowhere else to turn. When sin or heartache or disappointment or grief have buried us, Jesus stands ready and able to raise us up.

Matthew 9:19 records an interesting statement. After Jairus came and requested Jesus to come and raise his dead daughter, the text says simply, "So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples." That verse of Scripture contains a powerful thought. We most often think of Jesus inviting us to follow Him, as in Luke 9:23 where He said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Following Jesus is not difficult for me to imagine. Jesus is love and truth and servanthood personified. The values and lifestyle He calls us to live out are the highest known to man and have blessed human society for 2000 years. And the eternal reward He offers those who choose to follow Him is literally out of this world! It is difficult to understand why anyone would refuse Jesus' invitation to follow Him. But Matthew 9:19 challenges us from a different perspective. At Jairus' request, Jesus arose without hesitation and followed him!

Would Jesus follow me?! Could Jesus follow me and still be an example to others? Would Jesus follow my example in attendance, or would He accuse me of forsaking the assembly on Sunday and Wednesday night? Would Jesus follow my example in giving, or would He say what I am giving back to the Lord is a pitiful reflection of what the Lord is giving to me? Would Jesus follow my example in Christian living, or would He accuse me of walking in the grey instead of walking in the light? Would Jesus follow my example in serving and involvement, or would He accuse me of burying my talent?

Millions claim to be following Jesus. A penetrating question is, would Jesus follow you?

by Dan Gulley
Smithville Church of Christ