Jesus uses this phrase quiet often. He uses it to call Peter, Andrew, and Matthew.1 He tells us that if we was to come after him, we must deny ourselves, carry our cross, and follow him.2 And He told the rich young ruler that if he desires to be complete that he should sell all that he owns and follow him.3
If we believe in Jesus—His life, death, and resurrection—and have been saved by grace through faith, then we must follow Jesus. Even the Greek word Christianos, where we get the word Christian, means a follower of Christ.
So what does it mean to follow Jesus?
Webster's defines "follow" as engaging in as a calling or way of life (pursue), accepting as authority (obey), and copying after (imitate). Let's put that in the context of following Christ. To follow Christ means pursuing, obeying, and imitating Christ.
This is what it means to be a Christ Follower. It means to pursue Christ, His spirit and His ways. It means accepting His authority in my life as Lord and being obedient to His commands. It means to imitate Him in all that I do and say.
I desire to be a true follower. I wish for Jehovah to permeate every part of my life. I want to honor Him in all that I do. I want to pursue Him with my entire being, obey Him entirely, and imitate Him in every way I can. 4
Looking back on the what it means to follow,
can you say that you follow Christ?
Are there any ways where you might be hesitant to follow Jesus?
1. Matthew 4:18-19, 9:9
2. Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23
3. Matthew 19:16-22, Mark 10:21
4. This is a revised edition of the post What is a Christian? from September 27, 2007.