One of the greatest realizations a person can come to in the early stages of Christian faith is that Christ’s command to follow him means we should follow him and him alone. His call is one of unconditional surrender and total allegiance to his Name.
Yet, even in the name of Christ, we are often, even unknowingly, influenced to follow another master:
- Religion may have us follow forms of tradition that we have grown comfortable with.
- Churches may have us follow charismatic pastors and preachers and the teachers whose words and concepts tickle our ears.
- Popular culture will court us to follow singers, glitzy stars, and the writers who entertain us.
- Evangelicalism might want us to buy into the latest fad in the Christian subculture.
Yet, Jesus didn’t say, “Follow them“; he said quite clearly, “Follow me.” The true disciple puts his loyalty, not with a group or another human or a new idea, however good those things may be, but only with his master who has called him by name.
The truth is, the moment we follow someone other than Christ is the moment we set ourselves up for huge disappointment. People fail. They sin no matter how holy we might think them to be. The greatest Christian leaders have everyday struggles and sins that the public never sees. The Christian fad today may be in the dustbin of history tomorrow.
Only Christ remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever. Only Christ is the perfect Lamb of God – the single Person worthy of all our devotion. Once we put all of our hope and faith in him, we can truly fulfill His command as disciples.
When the disappointment brought about by other Christians comes (and it will come), the disciple who has truly heard his Master’s call, “Follow ME,” will be able to see through the tears of disappointment to his loving Savior that remains unblemished through it all.