We use the word follower in a lot of ways today, especially in reference to social media. If you’re on Twitter, for instance, you have followers.
Jesus didn’t tweet, but He did have followers. And His followers were pretty eclectic. This group included some fishermen, a tax collector, and a zealot. A tax collector was someone who colluded with Rome as the occupying power in Israel at that particular time. On the other hand, a zealot was dedicated to the violent overthrow of Rome.
So among Jesus’s followers were a Jewish tax collector named Matthew, who was in collusion with Rome, and a man named Simon, who was a zealot dedicated to the violent overthrow of Rome. It would be like having members of your family voting for candidates from opposing political parties.
The 12 men whom Jesus chose as His disciples were the most ordinary of men. They weren’t saints in the traditional use of the word. (Although anyone who has put their faith in Christ is technically a saint.) These men weren’t scholars or sages. Rather, they were hopelessly human and remarkably unremarkable. But they were available to the Master’s call.
As Christians, we are members of a different Kingdom. Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 NKJV).
Christians should be marked by love and not by always trying to win the argument. If you find yourself shouting at people, if you find yourself always uptight and angry, and if you’re using your social media account to blast this group or that person, then something is wrong.
We need to glorify God with whatever platform He has given to us. As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to be characterized and identified by our love for God and our love for others.