There are 58 Gospel verses about “following” Jesus. Let’s take a look at some of them and see what we can learn about being his disciple from Jesus, himself.
First, in Matthew 4:18 and Mark 1:19, we see Jesus approach his first four Apostles with the command “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Peter, Andrew, James and John IMMEDIATELY dropped their nets and follow him. His command to follow him was so powerful they could not refuse.
Today, we can’t follow Jesus exactly as they did because he is not on earth anymore, but we can choose to make him the center of our lives just as the early disciples did. They left their nets, jobs families, priorities and more behind to do so.
We, too, are asked to leave some things behind. In Matthew 16, Jesus says to his disciples. “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Also, In Matthew 10, He cautions, “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.”
In Mark 10, again in looking at a wealthy young man with compassion he said, “One thing you lack; go and sell all you possess and give it to the poor. And you will have treasure in heaven; then come follow me.”
What these readings point out is allegiance to Jesus comes before family, work, riches, etc. St. Paul, in Romans 8, says that a disciple is to imitate Christ he is to be conformed to the image of Christ. Discipleship really involves learning to become more and more like Christ right now in the everyday relationships and circumstances of our lives as we obey his command, “FOLLOW ME!”
Blessings, Jeanne Leonardi