“Follow Me!”October 21, 2019
“Come follow me and I will show you how to fish for people.” Matthew 4:19 NLT
As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. Mark 2:14 NIV and Luke 5:27
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. Mathew 9:9 NIV
The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” John 1:43 NIV
He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Luke 9:59 NIV and Matthew 8:22
Why does Jesus keep repeating, “follow me”? Why is it so important that we be “followers” of Jesus? The call of Jesus always entails the words: “Follow me”. Following is an act of obedience. Following requires an active step on our part to accept that Jesus is our Leader. Following requires a humble heart and a setting aside of one’s self. It requires listening which means taking time to be in God’s presence. Following means Jesus always goes before us – for if we forge ahead, we block Jesus from others – Like Peter.
You remember . . . Peter . . . so like many of us. In the course of 24 hours, Peter went from joyful worshipper to determined protector to complete denier. Jesus reinstated Peter by describing how he should “act” towards others. “Feed my lambs”, “Take care of my sheep” and “Feed my sheep”. His final reinstatement words to Peter were, “You must follow me!” John 21:22 NIV
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27 NIV
“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:38 NIV
“Following”, by definition, means that someone else is leading. We cannot call ourselves Disciples of Jesus unless we submit to following Him. Jesus leads us by example and we strive to imitate him.
“Following” is an action. It is not a stationary position. Following means seeking Jesus moment by moment . . . being quiet when we need to be quiet . . . encouraging when we need to encourage . . . standing when we need to stand . . . walking when we need to walk . . . serving when we need to serve . . . veering right when we need to go right . . . running when we need to run and . . . standing firm when we need to stand firm.
“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” John 12:26 NIV
Are you a follower of Jesus?