What would you give to spend time with a famous person? You know – a famous athlete, a popular singing star, or a Hollywood personality? A lot of people would give their proverbial right arm for that. Well, I’m going to tell you about something far better than that.
Jesus was talking with His disciples. They had already left their occupations to identify with Him; they had believed in Him and had committed their lives to Him. Yet, in His instructions to them in Matthew 16:24 He said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” What Jesus was saying was that He wanted them to continue pursuing Him. He wanted them to “come after” Him.
The word “come after” is the Greek word “come” with the preposition hopiso, meaning “after.” It is a word that carries the idea of being behind something, and thereby coming up after it. Jesus is the focus of our attention. So, we come up behind Him in pursuit of Him. We “come after” Him.
My wife and I have been married for 37 years. But I’m still pursuing her – NOT to get her to marry me, (we did that 37 years ago) – BUT to get to know her better – day by day. I pursue her to enjoy her presence; I pursue conversations with her; I pursue ways to please her. I am always coming after her.
Now, that’s the way it ought to be in our Christian lives. Instead of taking Jesus for granted, we ought to pursue Him. Hebrews 11:6 says that He is “a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” So, do you seek Him? Do you “come after” Him?
Say – there’s a great reward in pursuing Jesus: you get to spend time with Him.