"If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him."
This verse comes right after the Lord’s statement about Himself: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”
It’s impossible to serve the Lord Jesus unless we follow Him. To follow Him is to go wherever He goes, with the comfort of knowing that He got there first. The Lord doesn’t lead from behind, He shows us the way Himself.
When He made this statement, the Lord was headed for the cross. When following Jesus takes us to the cross, we know that He has been here first, and is there with us when we come to it.
Nobody likes to be crucified. The nails hurt. The whole experience is horribly painful. But if we are to be useful in His Kingdom, if we want to serve Him, then we must follow Him to the cross.“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and come, follow Me,” He said.
What will the cross mean to you? For some Christians today, it has meant a literal cross; actual martyrdom. For most it’s a matter of letting our “self,” our own ego, be put to death. But however it comes, the cross is what identifies us with Christ, and following Him will lead us there.
The good news is there is a resurrection and glory on the other side of the cross. “But if it dies, it produces much fruit,” He said.
Lord Jesus, I want to serve You. Give me strength as I follow You, to be where You lead me, cross and all. The fruit I leave up to You. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles