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Follow Me

The first and simplest instruction given to any disciple is to follow the teacher.

Unsurprisingly then, this is one of the most frequent commands offered by Jesus to his own disciples. To Simon Peter and his brother, Andrew, “Follow me” (Mt 4:19; Mk 1:17). To Philip, “Follow me” (Jn 1:43). To Matthew the tax collector, “Follow me” (Mt 9:9; Mk 2:14; Lk 5:27). To disciples that made excuses, “Follow me” (Mt 8:22; Lk 9:59-61). To a rich young man who loved his wealth, “Follow me” (Mt 19:21; Mk 10:21; Lk 18:22). To every potential disciple everywhere, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mt 16:24; 10:38; Mk 8:34; Lk 9:23). To anyone who would be a servant of Christ, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also” (Jn 12:26). To anyone who would be a sheep in the fold of the Good Shepherd, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (Jn 10:27). To Peter, when the Lord seemed to be going down a road that could not be followed, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward” (Jn 13:36). To Peter again, concerning his own death in the name of Christ, “Follow me” (Jn 21:19). To Peter once more, when he did not understand the instruction given by Jesus to another disciple, “What is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:22)

Regardless of the question, for the Christian the answer is always to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. The way may not be easy. The way may not be clear. The way quite often will be different than the path we would have chosen for ourselves, but for the Christian it is the only way. Christ himself is the Way, and no other road but His is fitting for his disciples. “Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:5-6).

May we follow him always, and gratefully exclaim with Paul, “Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession” (2 Co 2:14).

“[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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