Gospel News · September - December 2017

Following Jesus
| Bro Gift Lungu (Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe)
o those who would follow Him, Jesus
commanded, “if any man come to me, and
hate not his father and mother, wife and chil-
dren, and brethren and sisters and his own
life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke
14:26). There have been people who have
heard this passage of scripture read in meet-
ings and have immediately relinquished their
profession of following Christ.
Are we actually to hate our own family and
brother? Jesus most certainly did not mean we
were to have malice and malignity in our
hearts towards our family, but that it is not to
be above normal affection. When such affec-
tion for our families becomes worship, then
that affection has become idolatry, for family
affection has stolen what belongs to God. In
that respect, we are to love our families less
than we love God. The command of Jesus was
no license for anyone to neglect his family, or
his rightful duties, under the guise of serving
God. Anyone truly serving God is very diligent
about the welfare of his family, both in their
physical and spiritual needs. God’s commands
are righteous and just. There is nothing that
has precedence over the will of God.
Peter was once very bold in his claim that he
would follow Jesus to death if necessary. It
was but a few hours later that Peter denied his
Lord three times. This denial caused Peter so
much sorrow and such searching of his own
heart that he repented and renewed his vows
to God and made such a consecration to serve
God that he never failed again. Peter became
a great man of faith and served the Lord faith-
fully to the end of his life. So we have a price
to pay, and pay it we must if we are to obtain
all God has in store for us. If we pay it, great
will be our reward on earth.
The Good Shepherd
| Bro Gift Lungu (Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe)
esus came to earth to be the Good Shep-
herd, to lead His sheep into the right path.
The Israelites were God’s chosen people, the
“sheep of his pasture” but they
had sinned so terribly that God
had permitted them to be scat-
tered into all the world. Many of
the kings and priests, their shep-
herds in early days, had been
wicked men and had led the
Israelites away or astray. Now
Jesus had come to gather the
wretched wanderers into a safe
fold again. It was said of Jesus
when He was preaching to a
great multitude at one time:
“He was moved with compassion
for them, because they fainted, and were
scattered abroad, as sheep having no shep-
herd.” (Matt. 9:36)
However, there were not many of those
“sheep” who wanted to be saved. “Jesus came
to His own, but His own received Him not. But
as many as received Him, to them he gave the
right to become the sons of God.” (John 1:12).
Those who received him were just a little
flock, but how they loved the
Lord! They followed Him wher-
ever He went. Once when the
crowds had forsaken Jesus, He
asked his faithful few if they
would go also? Peter answered,
“To whom shall we go? Thou
hast the words of eternal life.”
(John 6:68).
When the Jews refused to listen
to Jesus, He turned to the
Gentiles. He told the people,
“Other sheep I have, which are
not of this fold; them also I must bring, and
they shall hear my voice and there shall be
one fold and one shepherd.” The Jews and
Gentiles alike must come through Jesus as the
Chief Shepherd. So let us follow the Good
Shepherd with the assurance that we will not
drift towards the outer edge of the flock.