Follow me

As social beings, one of our elementary needs is to belong. We all seek to satisfy our sense of belonging. How we go about meeting that need varies. In many instances, we seek belonging from those who may not be the most ideal. I am not sure what makes people select certain characteristics in people as criteria to belong. Regardless, we can be sure that the overarching belief is that primary reason is perceived to be one that benefits the person. I see this dynamic regularly as one who works with groups of people on a regular day. Males or females, it does not matter.

Jehovah, the one true God, through Jesus Christ has purposed to meet the need of belonging that He placed in man. I, along with millions of others, claim to be a follower of Christ. What does it exactly mean to when Jesus says, “Follow Me“? It would seem self-explanatory, but people tend to obscure Jesus’ meaning. Once more, we go to John 1 for our text for today.

43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

The Greek word used here for follow is akoloutheō (ä-ko-lü-the’-ō). According to Strong’s Concordance, it has two meanings:

  1. to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him

  2. to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple

Vine’s Bible dictionary offers this for the meaning of follow:

Follow, Follow After:

to be an akolouthos, “a follower,” or “companion” (from the prefix a, here expressing “union, likeness,” and keleuthos, “a way;” hence, “one going in the same way”), is used

(a) frequently in the literal sense, e.g., Mat 4:25;

(b) metaphorically, of “discipleship,” e.g., Mar 8:34; 9:38; 10:21. It is used 77 times in the Gospels, of “following” Christ, and only once otherwise, Mar 14:13. defines follow as:

1.  to come after in sequence, order of time, etc.: The speech follows the dinner.
2. to go or come after; move behind in the same direction: Drive ahead, and I’ll follow you.
3. to accept as a guide or leader; accept the authority of or give allegiance to: Many Germans followed
4.  to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey: to follow orders; to follow advice.
5.  to imitate or copy; use as an exemplar: They follow the latest fads.
Generally, we all understand what it means to follow someone. It means for us to go in the same direction as he/she is going doing what he/she is doing the way that he/she does it. In our text today, Jesus shows that He seeks and calls man into relationship with Him. You see, we were created to be in union or fellowship with God, but sin short-circuited that process in our lives. Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”
Jesus came to bridge the chasm between God and man caused by sin. In doing so, He, as He did with Philip, says, “Follow Me” to provide resolution to meeting our need to belong. Andrew, Peter, and Philip are recorded as simply following Jesus when He called them to do so. He is calling all of us. The question is whether we are ignoring Him or following Him. In Matthew 10, Jesus says, “32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
Jesus has given you a choice when He calls for you to “Follow Me”, but as it is with every choice, there are consequences. Which will you choose? Will you Follow Jesus or someone else to satisfy your sense of belonging? Choose wisely.

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