Come, follow Jesus!
(the real Jesus)

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The Gospel
in simple terms
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Come Follow Jesus - the real Jesus
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Jesus said, "Come, follow me."
How can you follow Jesus?
"But I'm a sinful person, not fit to be a follower of Jesus!"
Your new life as a follower of Jesus
Find fellowship with other followers of Jesus
Your prayer life
Know your Bible
Your service to God
"Jezebel" in the churches
"If we deliberately keep on sinning . . ."
Why believe the Bible?
Who is Jesus?
What did Jesus teach?
What is life really all about
Angels and demons
Gray areas, mysteries and religious authorities
What Jesus revealed about life after death
'But my relatives won't like it if I follow Jesus!'
Watching for Christ's return
How I came to follow Jesus: the testimony of David A. Reed
Why this book?
Dedication, copyright, ISBN & Scripture references
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Come, follow Jesus! (the real Jesus)
online edition of the book by David A. Reed
The Gospel in simple terms for nonbelievers and new believers.
How to become a follower of Jesus Christ, and live as Jesus commanded

Home  |   Jesus said, "Come, follow me."  |   How can you follow Jesus?  |   "But I'm a sinful person, not fit to be a follower of Jesus!"  |   Your new life as a follower of Jesus  |   Find fellowship with other followers of Jesus  |   Your prayer life  |   Know your Bible  |   Your service to God  |   "Jezebel" in the churches  |   "If we deliberately keep on sinning . . ."  |   Why believe the Bible?  |   Who is Jesus?  |   What did Jesus teach?  |   What is life really all about  |   Angels and demons  |   Gray areas, mysteries and religious authorities  |   What Jesus revealed about life after death  |   'But my relatives won't like it if I follow Jesus!'  |   Watching for Christ's return  |   How I came to follow Jesus: the testimony of David A. Reed  |   Why this book?  |   Dedication, copyright, ISBN & Scripture references

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Who is Jesus?

 


If you are a Jew, you probably think of Jesus as the one Christians claim to be the Jewish Messiah, but whom Jews see as a pretender to that role.  If you are a Muslim, you likely recognize Jesus as the one spoken of in the Islamic holy book, the Koran, as “Isa, son of Miriam.”  If you are non-religious, you no doubt recognize Jesus as the one whose birth was originally celebrated by the Christmas holiday, even though the holiday has since become centered around a fictitious Santa Claus, flying reindeer, and retail sales.


But, who is Jesus according to his original followers who spent years living with him and listening to his teachings? 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made.

“The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.”                                    —John 1:1-3, 14


The Apostle John, who wrote the above, was one of Jesus’ earliest followers.  He explains that Jesus is the eternal Son of God, who was with God the Father from the beginning.  God sent his Son to save us from our sins and to give us eternal life:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

“For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.”                                                                                  —John 3:16-17


Matthew and Luke—also early followers of Jesus—tell the story of how Jesus came into the world:

“The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin . . .

“The angel said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call his name “Jesus.”  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High.’”                                         —Luke 1:26-27, 30-32

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this; for after his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

“Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly. But when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,

“‘Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take to yourself Mary, your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She shall bring forth a son. You shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.’

“Now all this has happened, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,  ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son.  They shall call his name Immanuel;  which is, being interpreted, “God with us.’”

“Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took his wife to himself;  and didn’t know her sexually until she had brought forth her firstborn son. He named him Jesus.” —Matthew 1:18-24

 

“A decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being pregnant.  It happened, while they were there, that the day had come that she should give birth. She brought forth her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn.

“There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

“The angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’”           —Luke 2:1-11


The familiar Christmas story, above, is not the whole story of Jesus, of course, but just the beginning.  Peter, another very early follower, summarizes here Jesus’ life and ministry—and the work Jesus assigned to his followers:

“Peter opened his mouth and said,

“‘Truly I perceive that God doesn’t show favoritism; but in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.  The word which he sent to the children of Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all—you yourselves know what happened, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;  even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 

“‘We are witnesses of everything he did both in the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they also killed, hanging him on a tree.  God raised him up the third day, and gave him to be revealed, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen before by God, to us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.  He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that this is he who is appointed by God as the Judge of the living and the dead.  All the prophets testify about him, that through his name everyone who believes in him will receive remission of sins.’” —Acts 10:34-43


Jesus’ followers faithfully preached the message he taught them, and they trained others to do the same.  Some of them wrote down the history of Jesus’ life and ministry, resulting in the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  These, together with letters to the early churches, make up the New Testament that we have today as part of God’s inspired Word, the Bible.


The first part of the Bible, the Old Testament, tells the story of God’s dealings with mankind before the birth of Christ, while the New Testament continues on from there. 


This book quotes extensively from the Bible, but there is no substitute for reading the Bible itself.  As you consider the invitation to “Come, follow Jesus!” you would do well to pick up the Bible itself and begin reading it—perhaps starting with Matthew at the beginning of the New Testament.  This book highlights important Bible passages, and they should serve to whet your appetite for reading God’s complete message to mankind, where you will learn much more about who Jesus is and how he can change your life.  After all, he is not just an historical character in a book;  rather, he is alive, and he is active in the lives of those who follow him.  Jesus promises,

“‘One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him.’”           —John 14:21


Jesus reveals himself to us as our Savior who cares about each one of us personally and intimately:

“‘My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never die, and no one can steal them out of my hand.  My Father gave my sheep to me. He is greater than all, and no person can steal my sheep out of my Father’s hand.  The Father and I are one.’” —John 10:27-29 NCV


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