The Follower

Discussion in 'Literature and Poetry' started by frank jennings, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. It was summer of 2016 when God put this on my heart. A man seeing Jesus and the disciples, begins to follow, wondering at all he sees and hears. Gradually he comes to believe this man is who he claims to be. The Messiah. It was about two weeks from start to finish the work. I pray God touches one heart with this and that will justify the effort.



    The follower

    by Frank Lee Jennings
    Summer, 2016


    At the beginning He was a stranger to me

    The first I ever saw him
    I was walking by the way
    a crowd was closely pressing
    while He had stopped to pray
    what can this be I asked myself?

    a rich man's son was dying
    and he'd come here to plead
    that Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth
    would do a wondrous deed
    can he do that? I wondered

    to take dark loss far from his door
    far from his precious son
    he wept and prayed the Rabbi
    who simply said "it's done"
    is that really true? I doubted

    rejoicing went the rich man
    who'd trusted Jesus' word
    I watched and listened to them
    but doubted what I'd heard
    just a man can't do this!

    but then the rich man's servants
    came and met him in the way
    rejoicing, told their master
    his son no longer lay

    upon a deathbed dying
    but had risen up with joy
    and was now completely perfect
    a healthy little boy

    I was witness to this
    and yet I questioned still
    that a man could heal another
    without potion, touch or pill
    was this man a magician?

    He went into the synagogue
    there in Capernaum
    and preached words from Isaiah
    and said the time was come

    for those words to be quickened
    and that he was the one
    long spoken of by prophets
    the world to overcome
    this man says he's Messiah!?

    they brought a man before Him
    screaming, bound and tied
    Jesus cast the devil from him
    the man fell as though he'd died
    can this be, he casts out devils?

    I was more confused than ever
    as I stood there in that throng
    a normal man can't do such things
    could it be I was wrong?
    can He possibly be the Messiah?

    I went with them and Peter
    we wound through streets and lanes
    with Jesus sometimes speaking
    of the work that yet remained
    work? What work?

    then coming to his in-laws home
    Peter showed a few inside
    his wife's mother lie sick abed
    with friends close by her side

    Jesus spoke and healed her
    so the fever fled away
    then she rose up and served them
    toward the ending of the day
    what man can do these things?

    then others came to beg Him
    to heal them of their woes
    so Jesus prayed and healed them all
    at Peter's in-laws door

    not a one left sickly
    He healed them with such ease
    I stood amazed at his great power
    to cure these men's disease
    I must learn more about him!

    never had I seen such things
    in Israel's sacred land
    I intend to follow after him
    to try and understand
    my other life must wait

    I never tired of following
    after Jesus and his men
    as they roamed about all Israel
    and preached of life and sin
    I feel the burden of my deeds

    he spoke of dead religion, men
    whose hearts were as a sword
    who taught keeping tradition
    was all that pleased the Lord

    I left awhile to journey home
    to see my land and kin
    for I'd been gone for quite awhile
    and they worried where I'd been
    I can't tell them what I'm doing

    I soon returned to Jesus
    for all the while away
    I longed to be back with him
    and to hear him every day
    why do I feel this emptiness?

    come to me the Rabbi said
    then I will take your sin
    and give forgiveness for it
    so you may enter in

    to God the Father's kingdom
    where you never shall grow old
    and worship Him for ever
    in Christ the Shepherd's fold

    where no dark thing can enter
    no tears or pain to bear
    forever there to praise Him
    that bought us from despair
    he's says plainly that He's the one!

    and washed us from our sins
    with his own blameless blood
    and clasped us to himself
    just as a father would

    JESUS TEACHES AT THE SEA

    we came down to the sea shore
    with Jesus teaching still
    the crowd was pressing sorely
    and couldn't get their fill

    He spoke God's word with power
    as a prophet of the Lord
    then healed all those around Him
    with no thought of reward

    we'd never heard such things
    in synagogues or temples
    His words came in such power
    that made it seem so simple
    never had I heard the prophets so

    now Simon's boat was near us
    so we few climbed aboard
    and Jesus taught the multitude
    from just off Galilee's shore
    Simon allowed me to come...

    we pulled the boat away now
    as I'd become a hand
    to help with all the nets and gear
    and near the Master stand

    for in the past few days
    I'd seen his gentle stare
    though he had said nothing
    I knew he was aware

    of this quiet, single follower
    that often came so near
    whenever he was preaching
    I was always standing near
    I wanted to draw even closer...

    He taught of many things
    then fading twilight came
    and as the people went away
    they praised His wondrous name

    for his wisdom, love and healing
    that never had been seen
    in all the land of Israel
    since David was their king

    MIRACLE OF THE FISHES

    we went to sea right after that
    as the sun set on the rim
    of Galilee's calm waters
    and a crew of needy men
    I sat in the stern watching him...

    then Jesus spoke to Simon
    to set their nets once more
    the fishermen all doubted
    but cast them as before

    as soon as they had set them
    the boat began to fail
    from the straining of the nets
    as they pulled against the rail

    the nets had filled with fishes
    more than they'd ever seen
    right to the point of bursting
    and we couldn't pull them in

    Simon fell to weeping
    and went down on his knees
    have mercy on us Rabbi
    for we're not fit to be

    standing in your presence
    because I know your name
    you are the Lord's Messiah
    and for Israel you came

    Blessed are you Simon Peter
    for this thing you've been shown
    came to you from the Father
    and was not on your own

    See that you tell no one
    for in good time they'll know
    that I am God's Messiah
    as the prophets wrote before

    of all things relating to me
    of my birth and death and then
    of my foretold resurrection
    and blood covenant for men

    causing the law to be fulfilled
    in God's perfect grace and time
    for I am His word and power
    and all authority is mine

    I lay my life down willingly
    then I take it up again
    for love of man I do this
    to redeem all from their sins

    JESUS CALMS THE STORM

    later a great storm arose
    we hoped that it would cease
    it looked like we were sinking
    but the master slept in peace

    finally we all woke him
    as high black waves broke oer'
    he marveled at our faithlessness
    then silenced all the roar

    he marvelled at our lack of faith
    and never seemed to fear
    no natter what was happening
    his voice was firm and clear

    months went by with me in tow
    just watching from the side
    as he touched and healed the lepers
    and opened up blind eyes
    how can this man be God too?

    the leaders of the synagogues
    all plotted day and night
    and tried to catch him in his words
    they sought with all their might

    but he made them all look foolish
    when he answered in a way
    that filled the place with power
    and took their breaths away
    I stood amazed at his authority...

    HEALING JAIRUS' DAUGHTER

    a man named Jairus came
    then at Jesus' feet did plead
    for him to quickly come
    and meet his daughter's need

    for the child was near to death
    no physician had the skill
    to drive away the plague
    that stormed in for to kill
    I'd never seen a man more broken

    as Jesus walked to Jairus' house
    He was pressed hard by the crowds
    but suddenly he stopped
    then challenged right aloud

    He said "who touched my clothes"?
    and a little woman cried
    "if I hadn't touched you Lord
    I'm sure I would have died"

    for she'd been to all the doctors
    who took her every cent
    but still she was afflicted
    no matter where she went
    she was frail and slight...

    he blessed her for her faith
    and praised her with his words
    but Jairus' daughter passed away
    and her neighbors mocked the Lord

    so Jesus sent the crowd away
    save for the chosen part
    then spoke life back into the girl
    who sat up with a start
    I saw this through a window

    the parents were rejoicing
    but Jesus merely said
    see that you do not tell a soul
    and see that she is fed

    THE LAST SUPPER

    they had a passover supper
    in an off street upper room
    I came to help prepare things
    then stayed to see it through
    they were used to me now...

    Jesus washed the disciple's feet
    Simon spoke a reprimand
    not so Lord, you'll not wash mine
    but he did not understand

    that Jesus came to serve not be served and teach this to all men
    to serve and be the last of all
    then serve and serve again

    JESUS IN THE GARDEN

    they came to take him in the night
    in the garden while he prayed
    the disciples all were sleeping
    and with them I had stayed

    the soldiers took him with them
    to the chiefest of the priests
    so he was gone from all of us
    and all our faith had ceased

    I'd not been parted from him
    in many days and miles
    and now I heard the Romans
    were sending him to trial
    surely they'll release such a one

    the Jewish leaders pressed in
    for hate and envy's sake
    to have the master put to death
    then all his flock to take

    back to the rule of Moses' laws
    back to traditions cold
    that had no life, or breath or grace
    but only chain like holds
    I can bear the law no more...

    JESUS' TRIAL & CRUCIFIXION

    the next time I saw Jesus
    was at the public square
    soldiers stood around him
    while Pilate sat his chair

    I couldn't hear them speaking
    I got there much too late
    but by the great crowd's roaring
    I feared the master's fate
    where shall all of this end?

    I heard them shout Barabbas!
    saw Pilate wash his hands
    and soldiers striking Jesus
    while he was tied in bands

    they forced a thing upon his head
    I could see that it was thorns
    how could they do this to him?
    the kindest man yet born...

    they forced a cross upon him too
    that he could hardly bear
    I stood and wept as he went on
    then cried a wailing prayer
    how can God abide such a thing?

    the crowd was pressing on him
    as he strained along the way
    going up Golgotha's hill
    and skies were waxing gray
    the crowd followed along...

    he fell and then he struggled
    to lift the cross once more
    so then they forced a stranger
    to do that wicked chore

    forcing my way forward
    I watched as soldiers laid
    the wounded, bleeding Jesus
    upon that cross they'd made
    It was if I were in a nightmare...

    once the cross was upright
    between the other two
    they mocked and jested of him
    as that roaring mob still grew
    some of them he'd prayed for...

    they pierced him with a spear
    as he hung before us all
    many wept but many jeered
    and I had heard him call

    "father I pray forgive them
    for they don't know what they do
    do not charge them with this sin
    I forgive them before you"
    not even anger as he was dying...

    the sky was black and windy
    and the earth shook with a roar
    Jesus whom I followed had
    passed through death's cold door
    the ground shook violently!

    I felt completely hollow
    with my dreams all fled away
    to see the master crucified
    was far too much to pay
    why had I been deceived?

    Jesus said that he'd be crucified
    then rise on the third day
    but all of us who'd heard him
    could never find a way

    to believe that such a thing
    would ever come to be
    a man to raise himself from death
    we'd simply have to see
    what strange things I'd heard

    we'd seen him raise up Lazarus
    by calling to his grave
    but to raise himself up from the
    tomb was far beyond our faith

    his disciples all were hiding
    fearful of the Jews
    that came and took the Rabbi
    and might come for them too

    but after time had passed
    I soon began to hear
    from friends of his disciples
    a thing that shocked my ears

    that Jesus rose up from the dead
    and had been seen of all
    who'd followed him through Israel
    those ones that he had called
    these things were far beyond me...

    I'd sat for years in synagogues
    as teachers read the scrolls
    of Moses and Isaiah
    of Psalms and Ruth and Job

    since a child I'd heard and known
    Messiah would come one day
    and save us from our cruel trials
    then take us all away
    but it seemed like a dream...

    to the heaven Jehovah made
    for His people Israel
    whom He'd chosen long ago
    to deliver us from Sheol
    Jesus is Messiah, now I know

    after all these miles of travel
    after all I've see Him do
    I know for certain who He is
    and what He came to do
    It's for me He's come...

    so I gladly yield unto Him
    and come on bended knees
    so heal my heart dear savior
    do with me as you please
    at last my burden is gone!

    I knew I finally knew him
    for He was God's own son
    came to save us out of hell
    for He my heart had won

    He can't be taken from me
    for in me now He lives
    and I'm His new Creation
    so every day He gives

    this wondrous new life to me
    and guides me in His ways
    and even when He chastens me
    He lightens all my days

    and nightly births a song of praise
    that spirals through the stars
    a high clear song of deepest joy
    past Jupiter and Mars
    I felt new, I didn't know myself!

    Jesus came to the disciples
    as they hid there from the Jews
    this thing was way too much
    as they reeled from all the news

    Jesus breathed on them and said
    "receive the Holy Ghost, and then
    go you into all the world
    make disciples of all men"

    this is your calling now
    for soon I must depart
    and return unto my Father
    but now you have your charge

    for as the Father has sent me
    I now also send you
    wait for the Holy Spirit
    He will tell you what to do

    THE UPPER ROOM

    there on the day of Pentecost
    and I was with them too
    not as a distant follower
    but as a brother born anew
    I no longer stood apart from them

    there came a rushing mighty wind
    that swept right through us all
    baptized us in the Holy Ghost
    empowered for His call
    I felt a boldness rise up in me

    the fire of God, the dunamis
    now fills those to the brim
    they speak in tongues and have
    all gifts the spirit gave to them
    I felt a fire growing in my middle

    BEWARE THOSE THAT CAST OUT
    HIS WORDS AND DENY HIS POWER

    religion dark would cast away
    the Holy Spirit's gifts
    but they fight the very savior
    they say their sect uplifts

    receive you now the Holy Ghost
    and cast all words away
    that fight God's written Holy word
    and drive all those away

    that seek to have all things of God
    He's promised in His word
    in simple faith filled child like
    joy, not by religion blurred

    dismiss all words that dismiss His
    and cast them far aside
    remember that His written word
    is the true and only guide

    and adding to or taking from
    receives the Lord's great wrath
    so fear to change a single jot
    lest you be turned from the path

    it seems so right when they speak
    God's gifts won't come today
    but who will believe what's written
    instead of what false prophets say?
    they say God has changed!

    there is a way that seems so right
    even to those who believe
    they cling to men instead of God
    beware lest you're deceived

    by saying His gifts are for yesterday
    but are not so for today
    how can you say that part is right
    but the rest must be thrown away?

    reject the words of those that preach
    that God no longer gives
    His spiritual gifts to those who ask
    those that for and in Him live

    now hearken distant followers
    watching Jesus from afar
    rush in close near to His side
    and stay not where you are

    be born anew of grace and blood
    shed by the Holy King
    who raised Himself up from the dead so followers could sing

    eternal songs of praise and awe
    as at His throne we fall
    worshipping with angels
    true followers one and all

    He made it all so simple
    a child could understand
    yet men refuse His message
    and flee from God's great plan

    because it's just not hard enough
    and works don't enter in
    and man's mind just won't let him
    see His grace alone blots sin

    religion's pride demands great deeds
    and say that these things save
    and earn his place in heaven
    and save you from hell's grave

    these are followers of the world
    and everything therein
    but true followers of Jesus
    are forgiven of their sins

    so now we follow Him alone
    on a path that He has built
    long before that we were born
    and long befofe the guilt

    that man accrues from day to day
    while seeking fleshly goals
    vainly chasing phantom dreams
    that never ever hold

    a lasting heart's contentment
    or God's eternal peace
    but only add more burdens
    and guilt that will not cease

    so bow down now before Him
    and pour out all your woes
    He knows your prayer already
    but wants you to know He knows
    Ps62:8, pour out your heart...

    I followed Jesus till I believed
    and repented of my sins
    His blood has washed them all away now He's my Lord and friend
     
    Fish Catcher Jim likes this.

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