January 21, 2022
The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
Spoken to Peter, the Lord relates that he will be crucified (please see the surrounding verses). But something happened in the conversation that must be examined and understood in order to “Follow Him” properly. Upon telling Peter that he would die the death, Peter looked around and saw John. This prompted Peter to ask Jesus, …what shall this man do? The Lord replied: If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
According to Jesus this thing of “Follow Me” is purely a personal decision without regard to that which others do. Peter was not to be concerned about John; he was only to be concerned about himself. He was to “Follow Jesus” with no regard to that which John, or anyone else for that matter would or would not do.
This is a trap that entangles many. They decide to follow the Lord as long as others do the same. It is very much like the world’s unofficial motto, “Do your own thing as long as you do it like me.” Disciples of Jesus fall into this snare all too often. They begin to compare themselves among themselves; of which the Bible teaches is not wise (II Cor. 10:12).
This thing of following Christ is an individual decision with individual challenges, hardships, purposes, successes and yes, failures. If any person decides to take Jesus’ invitation to “Follow me,” understand it will be a lonely journey. For it is the narrow way not the broad way. Few are on that corridor of straightness, there are no traffic jams or slowdowns due to overuse. Yes, the way may be lonely, but the destination will be worth every lonesome, misunderstood, dangerous, and mostly underappreciated step.
This is the last in the series of devotions on Jesus’ invitation to follow me. Perhaps then, it would be fitting to sum up the entire issue with this little ditty written by Charles Studd in 1883. “Only one life 'twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last.”
Until Next Time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.