When Jesus said “Follow Me,” was he tweeting? He already had a fair number of followers but certainly social media could have spread his message wider. Jesus had many “friends” and in John 15 calls His followers “friends,” but I think His intent goes much deeper than the meaning of “Friend” we currently derive from our Facebook families. In our current day, we use words in ways that confuse their root and intended meanings which can cause us to misinterpret what is said and intended. Just what did Jesus mean when he said “follow me,” and do we mean the same thing when we say we “follow Jesus?”
It’s pretty easy to say “I follow Jesus.” After all, what are the metrics and who measures them? Sometimes we prefer to “cherry pick” the degree and distance with which we “follow.” Nobody’s perfect, right? If someone observes my lifestyle too closely and tunes me up now and then I always have the option of calling them “rigid,” “legalist” or “performance driven.” We can wear grace like Teflon when questioned how much our walk with Christ is “in the light.”(1 Jn.1) To be sure, our acceptance by Christ is by grace, not works or performance. But also . . .
To be clear, Jesus was not simply asking his contemporaries (or us) to literally accompany Him on a walk or on some extended journey. After all, we weren’t there then and He’s not here today. “Follow Me” has everything to do with following or imitating His example, doing life the way He did just as a disciple or student would imitate his teacher. It also means to “do what I have instructed you.” To Jesus, obeying is following and He gave a lot of written narrative to underscore His life example for us to “follow.” Now that’s a reliable metric. So, while we are quick to confirm salvation is by grace alone and are dead right in believing that, as redeemed persons growing in the understanding of the “lordship” of Christ we validate our faith through works of love and obedience. (James 1:17-20) I guess you could say performance (“following”) has little to do with the act of salvation but much to do with the lifestyle of “saved” people . . . people who claim to be “followers” of Jesus. I believe “following closely” pleases Jesus. Think About It.