Who, what, when, where, why and how to follow Jesus

Q: Who is allowed to follow Jesus? Can anyone follow him?

A: Jesus has extended an open invitation to all people, and anyone can go ahead and follow Jesus if they want to.

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Jesus (Matthew 16:24)

Q: Do people need to carry a literal cross, if they want to follow Jesus?

A: No. When Jesus mentioned the need to “take up their cross,” I believe he was referring to the need for each of his disciples to die to their own self-interests and embrace the humiliation and persecution that comes with following Jesus.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” Jesus (John 15:18)

Q: What does it mean to follow Jesus?

A: A follower of Jesus is a disciple of Jesus. Disciples of Jesus believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and they have accepted him as their Lord and Savior. They worship Jesus as God and they follow Jesus as their only Spiritual Shepherd (as a sheep follows their shepherd). They study the teachings and commands of Jesus, and they obey his commands (which includes the 10 Commandments).

“If you love me, you will obey my commands.” Jesus (John 14:15)

Q: How can a person follow Jesus — if Jesus is in heaven?

A: Following Jesus involves obedience to the direct commands of Jesus.

“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” Jesus (John 14:21)

Q: Where can a person find the commands of Jesus?

A: Jesus gave over 150 commands and most of them are found in the first four books of the New Testament of the Bible. Those four books are called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. You can also read Jesus’ commands in alphabetical order here.

“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” Jesus (John 14:21)

Q: Why follow Jesus?

A: Jesus is the son of God and he knows the way to heaven.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus (John 14:6)

Q: Do all Christians follow Jesus?

A: Many Christians do not follow the commands of Jesus, and therefore, do not follow Jesus. They prefer to treat Jesus as their co-pilot or servant, rather than respecting him as their God and Shepherd.

“Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I say?” Jesus (Luke 6:46)

Q: Can Jesus’ disciples follow him part-time?

A: No.

“Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.” 1 John 2:4

Q: Can Jesus’ disciples follow him half-way?

A: No.

“Those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” Jesus (Luke 14:33)

Q: Can a person follow Tony Robbins and Jesus, at the same time?

A: If anyone wants to truly follow Jesus, they are required to forsake all other spiritual leaders. And, some people may not realize it, but Tony Robbins is a spiritual leader.

“No one can serve two masters.” Jesus (Matthew 6:24)

Q: Does following a Pastor count as following Jesus?

A: No.

“No one can serve two masters.” Jesus (Matthew 6:24)

Q: What if a Pastor says that following him is the same as following Jesus?

A: They are mistaken. And here’s proof: 1) In the biblical records of Jesus calling disciples, there is not a single account of Jesus telling people to “follow Peter” or “follow my great group.” Jesus has always called people to follow him directly; 2) There is no biblical record of Jesus appointing Pastors; 3) Jesus made it clear that people can only have one master.

“No one can serve two masters.” Jesus (Matthew 6:24)

Note: If you have a Pastor, it’s important that you not treat them as a spiritual shepherd. But, that will be a difficult task, since the word “Pastor” means “shepherd.”

Q: Does following Jesus mean that a person needs to follow every rule in the Bible?

A: This might come as a surprise, but no, you shouldn’t obey every rule in the Bible. Let me explain. Paul is a First Century writer who had more than thirteen letters published in the Bible. Paul did, and said many good things — but there are dozens of examples of Paul teaching in contradiction to the commands of Jesus. Here are three examples: 1) Paul taught that it was okay to eat food sacrificed to idols, which contradicts Jesus who denounced eating food sacrificed to idols; 2) Paul condoned divorce (if the other spouse leaves), which contradicts Jesus’ stance on divorce; and 3) Paul told his clergy to hand certain people over to Satan, which contradicts Jesus’ command to love our neighbors and enemies. In light of this, you can see that it impossible to “eat food sacrificed to idols” and “don’t eat food sacrificed to idols.” My advice is to obey Jesus’ commands since he is God in the flesh.

“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” Jesus (John 14:23)