The Hebrew appeal begins with the fact of Christ’s deity (Heb.1:1-3). What those Hebrew Christians had witnessed and were part of in Christ was in fact God’s plan. In the time when they were being persecuted for following Jesus, it was difficult for them to see. So, inspiration placed in a concise way God’s plan for man. It began with God speaking by the patriarchs, through Moses and the prophets, and in these last days by His Son Jesus the Christ.
It is consistent with the event of transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-5) and the statement from the Father to “hear Him” [Jesus]. It took all patriarchy, Moses, and the prophets to bring Christ to the world right “in the fulness of time” (Gal. 4:4-5). This was and is God’s marvelous plan to save mankind (Mark 12:11). It’s this plan Peter preached on the day of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2.
From the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus called His disciples to follow Him (Matt. 9:9; 16:24; 19:21). To follow naturally demands giving up something, so following Jesus means denying self. This means one must leave bad, sinful company in sanctification from the world to be surrounded by good company (I Cor. 15:33). A behavior change (Gal. 5:19-21) will be noticeable with repentance (Luke 13:3). It surely is understood that following Jesus is to follow His teaching [doctrine] (II John 9-11). In fact John actually pictures one in harmony with the Godhead when he/she has the doctrine of Christ [the teaching of Christ, revealed by the Holy Spirit, and accepted by God the Father]. Bad attitudes are gone (Phil. 2:5-8; Mark 8:34; 10:21; Luke 9:23; 18:22), all has become new (II Cor. 5:17).
Sheep need a good shepherd (John 10:27). Christ is the good shepherd folding His sheep securely and leading them to safety—ultimately the safety of salvation and eternal life. A hireling won’t care, but the Savior does. Jesus invested all in us. He gave up the security of Heaven that His sheep might have eternal security in Heaven. He gave his life a ransom, payment for your salvation, and asks that you follow Him (I Pet. 2:21). Many like Peter followed even to death foretold by Jesus (John 21:19). We too must be committed to follow even if it costs our life (Rev. 2:10).
Some evidently think following Jesus is just an academic exercise—good to look at and study, but not necessary to obey. It is apparent that some have formed a view of following Christ as one is following without any law or responsibilities. Watch and listen as these advocate faith only —eternal security and that one cannot fall from grace. If such is true, then following Jesus would be license to sin. When listening to some explain their lawless “Christianity,” it begs the question, what would it take to be lost? Following Jesus is following His law (Rom. 8:2). He will be your judge based on what you’ve done, your works (II Cor. 5:10). Jesus calls all to a better place and a better life—eternal life (Rev. 22:14). Are you truly committed to following Jesus? Hopefully, your answer is where He leads, I will follow.
-David Hill, President of Tennessee Bible College