The Follower

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


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


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


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...


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


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


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...


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


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


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