“Follow me.” (Luke 5:27)
These two words changed everything for Levi, for Simon and Andrew, for
Philip, for unnamed disciples—and for us. Jesus is not pleading or
begging. He is inviting, earnestly and lovingly. Follow him, who is the way,
the truth, and the life. Follow him, who is the light in the darkness, the
spring of water that never fails, the One who promises to guide you always.
Follow me. Not because you’re particularly good or talented or holy.
According to Jewish law, Levi was “impure” because of his association
with Gentiles. He was also probably dishonest and greedy. Peter was
impulsive, hotheaded, and stubborn. James and John wanted places of honor.
All of the disciples had issues, but Jesus called them just the same—just
as he is calling you.
Follow me. For those who respond, the glory of those two words is summed up
in Peter’s first letter: Once you were no people, and you had not received
mercy. But now you are God’s people, and you have received mercy. Once you
were in darkness, and now you are in God’s wonderful light. You are
chosen, royal, holy, a people belonging to God himself (1 Peter 2:9-10).
That is who you are. That is how your heavenly Father sees you.
Follow me. It’s true, you may not start out as an ideal disciple, but as
you follow, your heart will begin to change. What you are now isn’t an
obstacle to what you can become— not to the Lord. He has had a vision for
your life from the moment you were conceived. And that vision is one of
blessing, not of curse. It’s a vision of fullness, not emptiness. It’s a
vision in which every part of your personality—all of your talents, your
character traits, and even your unique quirks—is filled with his life and
is used to build his kingdom.
We all know that following Jesus has its ups and downs. But no matter what
challenges we may face, we can always face them knowing that we belong to
Jesus, and that he will never abandon us. For not only are we following
Jesus; he is leading us, always calling us to his side with words of love
“Yes, Jesus! I will follow you. I want to walk in your light every day of
my life. I trust that you will bring to fulfillment all of your great and
gracious plans for my life.”
Isaiah 58:9-14; Psalm 86:1-6