Jesus said, “Follow me” 20 times in the gospels.
He says it to me every day.
He has to, because I need constant reminding who is the leader and who is the follower.
Some days, I attack my to-do lists and productivity goals with gusto. I catch a few waking moments to let Jesus know what we’re going to be doing in the coming daylight hours. I picture Him barely keeping up with me, breathless, but proud of all my many accomplishments.
Other days, I shuffle out of sleep and dawdle through the early morning. I approach the day with sighs and groans and no particular plan. I picture Jesus with a bored look on His face, kicking at rocks as He plods along behind me.
Of course, I’m wrong on both counts. Whether I’m energized or empty, His place is always out in front, never bringing up the rear. He leads, I follow.
So why aren’t we taught how to be good followers? Type in “leadership” in a search engine and up pops hundreds of leadership courses, leadership training programs and leadership development books. A quick search for “followership” offers a shorter list. Interestingly enough, Harvard offers a course entitled “Followership” with sections on Hitler and Jonestown, but not one mention of Jesus Christ. Can’t say I’m surprised, even though Jesus was the only one who came right out and said, “Follow me” and then millions did for thousands of years. Still do.
During this season of Lent, I’m going to dig into the word “follow”. To whom did Jesus say those words? How did they respond? Why did some say yes and others say no? What does following Jesus include? What does being a follower cost? What does it look like to be follower?
Care to follow?
I’ll follow! Google the lyrics for the song Follow Me by John Denver. We used this song at our wedding. Aside from the first 2 lines, it has a great message. It goes from “take my hand and say you’ll follow me” to “take my hand and I will follow you”.
Ah! I remember that song, but I had forgotten that it was sung at your wedding… Perfect for this journey through Lent.