Read Mark 8:34–38
‘Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.”’ (vv34–35)
Beyond Jesus’ ministry to the crowds, there were those who were called to ‘come and follow’. Some were directly called, like Simon and Andrew (Mark 1:17), others sought Jesus out, like Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1–10).
This group of people represent those whose interest and enquiries move beyond general interest.
Within our passage of Scripture today, Jesus highlights another level of ‘following’, what it really takes to be His disciple – one who denies themself, is willing to pay the cost of being a disciple and prioritise the Lord’s leading (v34).
We too can seek out those from the ‘crowd’, perhaps those who have an extra question, or perhaps their own stories of a previous faith encounter. This is more likely to be a smaller group, a few.
If we are going to work in this ‘come and follow’ space, we need to be prepared to give time to this group.
It can be easy to focus on the crowd and the large events – yet it is only as we share with a focused group of people, that disciples can start to be formed.
At the same time, it is important that we communicate what it means to love and follow Jesus, including the cost – allowing the Holy Spirit to show us those in the crowd who have an enquiring spirit that are seeking to know more.
A PRAYER TO MAKE:
‘Lord Jesus, help me not to be distracted by the crowd – and to see those You are leading me to encourage to walk alongside You. Amen.’
AN ACTION TO MAKE:
Think about your ‘come and follow’ spaces. Who are the ‘twelve’ that the Lord may have placed in your life, those with a deeper enquiry, demonstrating a keener interest?
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER:
Judges 7:1–8; Dan. 5:1–30; Matt. 5:1–12; Luke 19:1–10