Matthew 4:19, 16:24
[Jesus speaking to Peter and Andrew] “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” / “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’”
1 Corinthians 1:12, 11:1
What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” / Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
The new “rage” is Twitter. And the new buzz phrase that goes along with Twitter is… “I follow ‘so & so’ on Twitter.” There is a sense in which this phrase very much encompasses the original meaning of the biblical phrase “follow me.” To be sure, Jesus wants us to be in constant contact with His desires, experiences and whereabouts. But to drill deeper into the meaning of the phrase, a cultural note is helpful: when a prophet or teacher was gathering full-time students (disciples) this was the phrase used to invite them into the relationship. As a first century Jew, to hear “follow me” from a recognized teacher, was in a sense to be given your college acceptance letter! And school for these young Jewish followers became a 24/7 experience, and not just a 15 credit hour affair with lots of library and social time mixed in!
I had always read Matthew 4:19 and thought… “That seems a little strange that Jesus would come by, ask some fishermen (Peter and Andrew) to follow Him, and they would just drop their nets and livelihoods to follow this traveling teacher having just met Him.” But the Book of John records an event that chronologically precedes Matthew 4:19 by a year or more. John 1:35-42 records John the Baptist’s introduction of Jesus to Andrew, and Andrew’s invitation to Peter to listen to the “Lamb of God” approved by John the Baptist. This happened prior to any of Jesus’ miracles or public teachings. Peter and Andrew had a personal history with Jesus prior to Matthew 4:19! They knew what they were getting into when Jesus called them into a discipleship relationship!
Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom regarding the meaning(s) behind the phrase “follow me.” Having read the above verses, jot down your insights regarding what it truly means to “follow Jesus” and especially what it means for you to follow Him.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
"Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.