“Be Following Me”

According to Jesus, the requirement for being His follower is to follow Him. Here’s where He says so:

“Come, be following me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people. (Matthew 4:19)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and be following me. (Matthew 16:24)

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)

“Come, be following me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Mark 1:17)

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, be following me.” (Mark 10:21)

After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Be following me,” Jesus said to him… (Luke 5:27)

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, be following me.” (Luke 18:22)

The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Be following me.” (John 1:38)

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Be following me!” (John 21:19)

Note: I’ve translated the phrase “be following me” because the Greek uses a verb tense which indicates a continuing action: you don’t follow Him once, it’s an ongoing, continuing action.

I also note that He doesn’t say “Stand in place beside Me.” To follow implies motion, following in the footsteps of the Christ — in the case of the original disciples following in His footsteps was literal, but for us it is figurative. Certainly stasis is not in view here: He expects us to follow and grow to become more like him, not stand in place and remain the same. And, following/walking takes effort. And choice — to follow Him and not stand in place or wander off in some other direction. And it involves paying attention to where He is going. And it isn’t necessary for me to know the Path, only to follow Someone who does. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.