Come follow me

Good morning my dear Brothers and Sisters. My talk today is about the topic “Come follow me”.

I would like to read a scripture for us; Matthew 4:18-20
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.

First let us read into the scripture: Verse 18 says that Jesus walked by the sea and saw the two brothers, it was not by chance that the Lord walked past the see on that day and time and Peter and Andrew was not by chance the two he asked to follow Him, in the pre-mortal existence as spirit children of the Father they were for-ordained to become Jesus’s disciples .
But I would like to give the meaning of the word disciple according to the Webster Dictionary, a disciple is:
    1. one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ’s followers according to the Gospel accounts
    1. a convinced adherent of a school or individual

And for us that are not English the word adherent also has two meanings
    1. a follower of a leader, party or profession
    1. a believer in or advocate especially of a particular idea or church

Even the word follow has a few interesting meanings:
    1. to engage in as a calling or way of life
    1. to accept as authority

So if we now read verse 19 we will read it as follows
And he saith unto them, accept my authority and follow me as your Lord (leader) and engage in your calling, and I will make you fishers of men

In verse 20 it tells us that they straightway left and followed him. So let us see what straightway actually means
    1. in a direct course: Directly
    1. right away, immediately, straightaway

So the two brothers immediately stood up and followed Jesus when he asked them to. So great was their devotion to their pre-mortal calling that when they saw Jesus and he asked them to do something that they just stood up and left with him.

We must remember that in those days if men went out to fish it was not like today where men go to the river to fish for fun, aka a drinking party..
For them it was their whole income and food. If their nets got torn they would be bankrupt because that was the only work that they new so for them to leave everything and follow this man was something huge.

Let me ask the following question. If there came a man to your work place, a man dressed in rags and you can see he is not someone of worth, like a beggar and he told you to leave your R100k a month job and follow him and you will become richer than you would ever dream of to be. because Fishing for them was money, would you do it? I don’t know if I would, how can you leave your work and family just like that? But they just had a feeling and left with Jesus.

But luckily for us Jesus does not ask us to leave everything and follow him, he has organised his Church in such a way that we do not need to travel the world to serve Him. Being a Missionary is always the first calling, but Jesus asks us to “Come follow me” in many different ways. Earlier the Priesthood administered the sacrament and that is also a way that we can “follow” Him. If you are asked to do a talk, to pray in Church, even just by participating in class we “follow” Him.

We also read in Alma 10:6 how Amulek tells the people how he also did not harken to the Lord’s call:
6 Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart, even until the fourth day of this seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges.

By softening your heart and listening to the still small voice just like the disciples we can follow the Lord.

Let us also read in Matthew 19:13-15 how Jesus wanted the small Children to “come” to him:
Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

Why did Jesus rebuke them when they tried to stop the Children? Jesus wants us to be like small children, to believe like them and to dream like them, if you ask a small child who is Santa he or she will tell you a whole story because the child believes in Santa. But when they grow up they start to learn the truth, so also was our First Parents Adam and Eve, they where child like in the sense that they truly believed in God and in Jesus, only after partaking of the fruit of the knowledge of Good and Evil they knew the truth. Knowledge is Power but the Lord wants us to receive that Power from Him and not from the enemy. Being like a child means you do not have immoral thoughts, you still love and care, show a child an injured animal and the child will look after it and give it so much love. When Ronaldo was little he would always bring in small injured birds into the house and try to make them feel better, he looked after them. When some died his heart was broken, but when those that was better went away he felt the same, but this is what God wants us to be, love every part of His creation.

Let us also read Matthew 10: 1-9
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphæus, and Lebbæus, whose surname was Thaddæus;
4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,

If you listen to what Jesus told them you will realise that he gave them specific work to do, and that is the same work that He did on Earth, cast out unclean spirits, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils without asking for something in return. You will realise I did not say raise the dead here, because raising the dead can be seen in 2 ways, spiritual and physical. Some people are spiritually dead, no knowing who the Lord is and by Mission work and preaching to them we can raise them from the dead and then we are also able to raise them from their physical death, in this life or when the Lord comes again to give us our resurrected bodies. Now would ask what is the difference between the unclean spirits and devils. Unclean spirits are more like spirit children that died that where wicked people, devils are the demonic agents of Satan, aka Demons.

We are all called to follow the Saviour in one or another way. As we have read in the scriptures:
Heal the sick
Cast out unclean spirits or devils
Cleanse the lepers
Raise the dead

Let us also add the following
To be a Missionary to others
To bless people
To pray for them
To help prepare and administer the Sacrament and other ordinances.
To participate in class
To bare your testimony
I would like to tell you a story.

In my
pre-mormon life I was part of an outreach group in the Dutch Reformed Church and we had a play that we performed for a few years. The first year I had to play one of the Disciples and then the High Priest, it was a lot of fun, the second year I had to play Satan, the disciple, the High Priest and also Jesus on the cross. They would put a large cross up and I had to stand in front of it and hold on to the cross, I knew that Jesus was in pain when he was on the cross so in my mind I tried to picture how He would have felt and I gave my all for that part. I am not a professional actor so I did not have the makeup ect. But one of the other members of the group saw my facial expression and was shocked, everyone love my portrayal of Jesus. After the play for the next few days I could not move my arms, I was in such pain and then I realised that being on the cross for Jesus, his hands and wrists with the iron nails in had to hurt so much, the unsterile nails that tore through his skin, flesh and bone would not just hurt him but he would get an infection also, and by hanging it would tear his flesh and dislocate all his joints in his wrist and also his shoulder. If any of us ever had shoulder pain we can just think of the pain he was in. Luckily Jesus is not asking us to go hang on the cross for him, but he is asking us to follow his example. When I was part of this group and after the plays I just realised just how amazing the Lord truly is, but now since becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and learning more about the Pre-Mortal life, callings and the plan of Salvation I understand His sacrifice even more.

I would like to close my talk by challenging everyone to “Follow” Jesus in your own special way.

I would like to also bless you all in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.