To Follow Jesus: What does it mean?
Today, there are many people who would claim to follow Jesus.
I thought it would be good to start by defining what Jesus meant when he said “Come and follow me”.
Today, we are familiar with the word in a context that is understood by most people. We ‘follow’ people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogs. Only 20 years ago, people wouldn’t have comprehended this. To follow someone’s ideas, photos, interests, opinions or hobbies doesn’t involve knowing everything about that person. In fact, it’s possible to follow someone without knowing anything about their real life, except the aspects of it they wish to share.
The word itself means “to go or come after” and has the idea of following a path or person. To truly follow is more than just taking an interest in something. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21 that it is not enough to say “Lord, Lord….” So what does it mean to follow Jesus?
I would like to quote here an earlier writer who remarked on the idea of following Jesus in a beautiful way. His name was William Barclay and he said this in a commentary on the gospel of Mark.
“Unless a man’s religion makes himself a better and more useful man, unless it makes his home happier, unless it makes life better and easier for those with whom he is brought into contact, it is not religion at all. No man can claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ and remain entirely unlike the Master, whom he claims to love.” – William Barclay
Paul, an apostle of Jesus, said, “Copy me as I copy Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1, Moffatt, New Translation).
Jesus ultimately gave his life to save all who would follow him and this is a gift that is available to all. In future blogs, it is my intention to look at Jesus, in the way he conducted his life and how he reached out to men. This will be the way that we can learn to copy him and see how he dealt with every situation in his life. This will give us a greater appreciation of who he was, his attitudes, behaviour and his compassion for those he came to save, so that we can truly say we follow him.