Why I Follow Jesus

I follow Jesus.

I don’t follow Him perfectly, but I follow Him sincerely.

I do not follow Christianity. I do not follow Christians. I follow Christ.

Those are important distinctions.

There are some who assume that believers follow Christianity itself- that is, the systems, structures, beliefs, traditions, and teachings of the church throughout history.

Although we should learn from and appreciate those things, there are recognizable and regretful imperfections and failures within “Christianity” – things that were done in the name of Christ but did/do not accurately reflect His character or His heart toward people. So, while I place value in Christianity, I do not follow a set of systems, traditions, or practices, per se.

Others may mistakenly think that believers simply follow other Christians. This caricaturization often views believers either as peons following pied pipers, who themselves are either deceivers or deceived, or as unenlightened simpletons whose insecurities make them vulnerable to misguided truths propagated by equally blinded leaders.

True believers value leadership and honor people in authority, but not without careful consideration and personal responsibility. So, while I recognize the significance of other Christians in my life, they are not who I ultimately follow.

I do not follow Christianity. I do not follow Christians. I follow Christ.

Christianity is imperfect. Christians are imperfect. But Jesus… just look at the historical evidence of His life and ministry. He loved people, no matter their sin. He healed people. He forgave people. He spoke truth. No imperfection was ever found in Him. He was truly good.

Neither the flaws of Christianity nor the failures of Christians disprove or devalue the reality of Jesus Christ’s sinless life, sacrificial death, or victorious resurrection. You may have issues with Christianity and with particular Christians, but what issue do you have with Christ Himself?

Why do I follow Jesus?

Of the myriad of reasons I follow Jesus, there is one that stands out today: He is a Good Shepherd. A careful reading of John 10 and Psalm 23 reveals these characteristics of the Shepherd of my soul:

    He knows me.
    He walks with me.
    He gives me rest.
    He restores my soul.
    He leads me.
    He protects me.
    He comforts me.
    He provides for me.
    He anoints me.
    He pursues me.
    He never leaves me.

Perhaps Christianity has disappointed you. Perhaps Christians have failed you. I encourage you to consider Jesus Himself – the Person. Don’t allow the imperfections of Christianity or Christians to cause you to disqualify the Christ.

Look to Jesus. He is the author and the finisher of faith, and He is Someone worth following.

Photo by Timothy O’Toole, Galway, Ireland

3 Comments on “Why I Follow Jesus

  1. Thank you Pastor Dale! I have never heard it put so succinctly and beautifully as this.

  2. Excellent post for those who are looking for reasons to justify their denial of becoming a Christian. Without Jesus, Christianity would be a religion of rules without a personal relationship with the living Savior.

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