There are many words that could be considered intrinsic to the Christian faith. One such word is to ‘follow’. The command to “Follow Me” directly from the mouth of Jesus appears 23 times in the Gospels.
The first time it appears is when He says – ‘Follow Me, and…… I will make you fishers of men’. He was calling the disciples to give up their former life, what they did for a living – to follow Him snatching men and women out from the world and eternal death and into His Kingdom.
Preceding the command to follow, He speaks –
- he who does not take his cross and.. follow after Me is not worthy of Me
- If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and .. follow Me
- If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven and come.. follow Me
- Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and.. follow Me
- Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven and come, take up the cross, and.. follow Me
- If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and.. follow Me
- You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven and come.. follow Me
- I am the light of the world. He who.. follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life
- My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they.. follow Me
Jesus’ Words are startling. They arrest us. We ask ‘what does this mean for me’? Only between us and the Lord can our answer be found. But whatever position we find ourselves in.. we can make the decision to ‘wait on Him’, hear His direction and ‘follow Him’ today.
The promise to those who truly do
What is the promise to those who truly do so?
Jesus says – If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there my servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honour, John 12:26
Henry says – If any man professes to serve Christ, he should as a servant follow his master. Christ promises ‘Where I am,—there let my servant be and there shall he be in happiness with me.’ And if this should seem a small matter, He adds, If any man serves Me, him will my Father honour. And that is enough, more than enough. Christ lets the listeners know that it was not enough to see Him, they must serve Him. He did not come into the world, to be a show for us to gaze at, but a King to be ruled by. And He says this for the encouragement of those who enquired after him to become His servants.
In taking servants it is usual to fix both the work and the wages – Christ does both here. Here is the work which Christ expects from his servants. First, Let them attend to their Master’s movements – ‘If any man serve Me, let him follow Me’. Christians must follow Christ, follow His methods and prescriptions, do the things that He says, follow His example and pattern, walk as He also walked, follow His conduct by His wisdom and Spirit. We must go where He leads us, and in the way He leads us. We must follow the Lamb wherever He goes, ‘If any man serves Me, let him apply himself to the business of My service, and be always ready at My call.’
Secondly, ‘Where I am, there let my servant be, to wait upon me’. To present themselves before Him to receive instructions from Him. This also speaks of, ‘Where I am to be in heaven, where I am now going, there let the thoughts and affections of my servants be, there let their conversation be, where Christ sits,’ Col. 3:1-2.
The wages which Christ promises to his servants
Here are the wages which Christ promises to his servants of which they are very rich and noble.
First, They shall be happy with him. ‘Where I am, there shall also my servant be’ – in paradise, sitting with him at His table. It is the happiness of heaven to be with Christ there, John 17:24. Christ speaks of heaven’s happiness as if He were already in it: ‘Where I am’ – because he was sure of it, and near to it, and it was still upon His heart, and in His eye. And the same joy and glory He proposed to his servants – Those that follow Him in the way, shall be with him in the end.
Secondly, They shall be honoured by His Father. He will make them amends for all their pains and loss, by honouring them. The rewarder is God himself, who takes the services done to the Lord Jesus as done to Himself. The reward is honour, true lasting honour, the highest honour. It is said (Prov. 27:18), He that waits on his Master (humbly and diligently) shall be honoured. Those that wait on Christ, God will honour, such as will be taken notice of another day now under a veil. Those that serve Christ must humble themselves, and are commonly vilified by the world, in recompence of both – they shall be exalted in due time.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
The vision of future events
In the Apostle John’s vision of future events on the Isle of Patmos, he sees a great multitude gathered with the Lord on Mount Zion.
These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being first fruits to God and to the Lamb Rev 14:4
Henry says – After an account of the great trials and sufferings which the servants of God had endured, we now have a more pleasant scene. The day begins to dawn, and here we have the Lord Jesus at the head of His faithful followers. Christ appears as a Lamb standing upon mount Zion. Christ is with his true church and in the midst of her in all her troubles, and so she is not consumed. It is His presence that secures her perseverance, appearing as a Lamb, the true Lamb of God. His mediatorial government is the fruit of his sufferings, and the cause of his people’s safety and fidelity.
His people appear very honourably. As to the numbers, they are many, all who are sealed. Not one of them lost in all the tribulations through which they have gone. Their distinguishing badge was that they had the name of God written in their foreheads. They made a bold and open profession of their faith in God and Christ, and, this being followed by suitable actions, they are known and approved. Their praises were loud as thunder, or as the voice of many waters. They were melodious, as of harpers and heavenly, before the throne of God.
They followed the Lamb wherever He goes
In their loyalty and steadfast adherence to Christ – they followed the Lamb wherever He goes. They follow the conduct of His Word, Spirit, and providence, leaving it to Him to lead them into what duties and difficulties he pleases. Their hearts were right with God, and, as for their human infirmities, they were freely pardoned in Christ. This is the happy remnant who attend upon the Lord Jesus as their head and Lord. He is glorified in them, and they are glorified in Him.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
You – follow Me
Shortly after Jesus resurrection, the disciples had gone back to fishing and had been out all night. But had caught nothing. Jesus appeared to them on the shore and told them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. After following His instructions they caught a multitude of fish. As they were then gathered on the shore eating breakfast. Peter starting quizzing Jesus about the other disciples. Jesus’ Words speak to us this day, ‘what is that to you? You follow Me’.
Let’s follow Him, keeping our eyes fixed on Him, not being focused on others and on what they are doing or of their opinions. But let us be of those who truly – Follow Him.
Follow your Guide I am with you to guide and help you Stay close to Me. Your petty fears are groundless; Unseen forces control your destiny. What of a man walking through a glorious glade Who fretted because ahead there lay A river that he might not be able to cross. Know that I prepare the way. I am the Friend who goes ahead All else forsaking. See the river is spanned by a bridge Totally of My making. The way is planned for you. In Me there is all truth to tell. I have assured you that at no part of the journey Would any unforeseen contingency arise, and that all is well. So leave your foolish fears, and follow Me Your guide, the Man of Sorrows, And determinedly refuse to consider The problems that are tomorrows. All manner of things To you I wish to relate Buy My message to you is simple Trust and wait. By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)
Prayer: Father, forgive my foolish fears. Those that keep me from truly following You. May I be among those who stand with You on Mount Zion, being willing to make bold and open professions of my faith in You and with suitable actions following me all the days of my life on earth. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.
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