John 16:1-4 ““I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.”
Why follow Christ? It would seem that if a person wanted someone else to follow them and believe in them then that person would tell us all the good things about themselves and all the advantages. What do all the TV ads tell us about various products? Don’t they claim wonderful things for us, just believe and see? Whatever problem we have, there’s someone out there that promises to fix it if we’ll just pay the price.
So, what did Jesus tell His followers? In the passage above from John 16 He says “whoever kills you (i.e., some of you will be killed because you follow Me) will actually think they are serving God.” He also tells them they will be thrown out of synagogues, i.e., ostracized, rejected, mistreated. What a strange way to attract followers!
Some would have us believe that following Christ is the key to health, wealth, and success – all the physical things that many others also promise us in this world. But Jesus did not promise that. His message was always focused on the eternal. And He told the truth. That is one of the greatest advantages of following Him. In fact, He is the Truth incarnate (John 14:6). What a wonderful thing it is to know the truth about anything, not to mention all the things that are the most important. That’s what Jesus gives us. He doesn’t shade the truth. He tells us straight, the good and the bad. And while it may be difficult to hear, the truth always sets us free (John 8:32). Free from what? Free from the lies of the enemy and the world. Free from the fear of death. Free from the power of sin, which, without Him, we are helpless to resist and vulnerable to its devastating consequences. Free to serve Him. Free to live in the way He has ordained for us, and thereby free to glorify and enjoy Him forever.
Why follow Christ? Why follow anyone or anything else – which will always be less than the truth?