Have you ever followed anyone that way? The people who followed Jesus did. And [Jesus and the apostles] went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. Mark 6:32,33. They dropped what they were doing and left their work and their homes because they recognized that what he was teaching was different, that he spoke “as one having authority,” yet with a compassion for them that none of their other religious leaders showed. He drew crowds wherever he went, people so interested in hearing him that the practicality of it all didn’t daunt them. They followed regardless the inconvenience and sacrifice, even of necessities–like food for the day—so he even met that need for them more than once.
Would we recognize his voice if he were walking among us today? Could we tell that though the things he said sounded different than “what we’d always heard,” (Matt 5) it was the simple truth? In fact, what sort of traditions might he discredit among us? Would we keep following him even though it angered our own leaders? Would we follow when our social and economic lives were threatened? Many of them were thrown out of the synagogues for their belief.
If he walked among us today, would we follow everywhere as eagerly as Silas followed his granddad that afternoon, with a huge grin and an eager expression, hoping he would turn around and see us and welcome us into his open arms? Or would we be so satisfied with where we are, or so caught up in things of this world that we would never even notice?
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand, John 10:27,28.