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Why Did Jesus’ Disciples Follow Him?

Apart from God, did you know that it was political motivation that made Jesus’ disciples to patiently follow Jesus and stay with Him during His earthly ministry? Let’s continue and I will explain.

We will start from how Jesus’ disciples were called.

Matthew 4:18-22. 18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. KJV

Mark 2:14. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him. KJV

Luke 6:12-16. 12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; 14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, 16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. KJV

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Let’s see a few places where it was prophesied that the Messiah would come to liberate the people of Israel.

Micah 5:2. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have bee from of old, from everlasting. KJV

Isaiah 7:14. Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. KJV

Daniel 2:44. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. KJV

Isaiah 9:6-7. 6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. KJV

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Did you know Israel was under the Roman rule when Jesus was born? Hence the liberation of Israel needed at that time. From history, some had resigned to their fates over the Roman rule. Others were hatching some secret plans on how to cause a revolution that would bring about an end to the Roman rule, that same Barabbas that was set free in the place of Jesus, for instance (topic for another day). And some others were patiently waiting on the unveiling of their Messiah.

The disciples, haven been acquainted with the knowledge of the coming of the Messiah to liberate Israel from the Roman bondage, followed Jesus (God drew them to Him) because they were convinced He was their Messiah. All their mind was occupied with was that the man who would lead the revolution to bring an end to the Roman rule had been unveiled finally. And they counted themselves lucky that He could call them to be part of the planning and execution of the government overthrow and take over. This was evident in the request made by James and John in Mark 10:35-37. They all wanted to secure their place in the soon coming government. I wish we could see how they zealously did the job of body guards for Jesus. Did you read of the lobbyists we mentioned earlier, that requested to call down fire to consume the people that would not allow Jesus entry into their territory? (Luke 9:54). Did you also read about where they boasted of stopping someone that’s not in their board of governing council, who was casting out demons using the name of their ring leader, Jesus? (Mark 9:38).

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Even at the very end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, they were yet to understand that they were not taking over the earthly/physical government, even as Jesus tried to clear them (John 6:61-62). Jesus knew that despite His teachings that their major interest was in the anticipated positions in the coming kingdom that was to emerge from the expected revolution. You can imagine how disappointed they were when Jesus finally gave up the ghost on the cross (John 21:3). They all went back to their former trade, disappointed. The anticipated ministerial appointments, the Finance Minister (Matthew), the Accountant General (Judas Iscariot), special adviser on Political matters (may be James or John), the chief of staff (Peter), the Minister for Justice (Thomas), they all suddenly became dead dreams.

But it was not totally disappointing in the end, except for Judas Iscariot, who took his life for the role he played in betraying his Master. It was after the ascension of Jesus and the event on the day of Pentecost that their mission was made clear to them. They came to the understanding that they have taken over a higher and a spiritual government which is more real and more important than the physical government. And they continued from where Jesus stopped.

Something must have drawn you to Jesus. But let that finally lead you to fulfill your purpose and secure a place for yourself in His kingdom.

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