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Can anyone follow Jesus?

The good news is that, yes, anyone can follow Jesus.

The
Bible says that it is easy to follow Him.

Jesus
’ early follower Paul wrote that following Jesus is not a matter of effort on our part, but of putting our trust in what God has already done for us. We simply have to accept the undeserved gift of salvation through our trust in the sacrifice of Jesus for us. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

However, Jesus also tells us that it is difficult to follow Him.

As He told His followers: “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me” (
Matthew 16:24). Many people find it difficult to admit that their lives need to change direction. They believe that they are good enough. But the Biblewhat does the Bible say about sin?” and “am I good enough for heaven?”) says that no one is good enough. (see “

Jesus was very clear about this. Holding a child in His arms, He said, “Unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” He then explained that His followers had to become “as humble as this little child.” (Matthew 18:2-4) Therefore, we see that following Jesus is open to anyone, but to do so means that we must overcome our pride.

The Bible reports that from the very beginning, people from a variety of backgrounds made this decision and became His followers. Among the twelve men of His inner circle of disciples were four fishermen in business together; a “zealot” who had been involved in the violent overthrow of Roman rule over the Jewish people; and a tax collector for the Romans who was despised by most Jewish people as a collaborator.

Other early followers included: Mary,
Jesus’ mother and wife of a humble Jewish carpenter; Paul, an outstanding Jewish scholar who persecuted early Christians; Cornelius, a Roman officer; Lydia, a wealthy Greek businesswoman; Joanna, the wife of a high Jewish official; Nicodemus, a member of the group of Jewish leaders in Jerusalem; Luke, a Greek physician and scholar; the treasurer of Ethiopia; a repentant thief; a blind beggar whom Jesus healed; a Macedonian jailer; and many social outcasts.

Virtually every personality is also represented among Jesus’ early followers: outspoken and impulsive (Peter); intolerant and ambitious—at least at first (John the Apostle); quiet and shy (Andrew and Timothy); cautious and skeptical (Thomas); gracious and patient (Barnabas); work-oriented and impatient (Martha).

Today people of every personality, social group, and nation worldwide follow Jesus.

he choice to follow Jesus is ours: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that EVERYONE who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17, emphasis added). (see also “can I know God personally?”)






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