“If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me. And where I am, there My servant also shall be. If anyone serves Me, the Father shall value him.” –John 12:26
What does it mean to follow? Based on the simplest definition of the word we know with certainty that it does not mean calling the shots and leading. One cannot follow someone and at the same time lead that same person. They are mutually exclusive.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “follow” as:
-to go, proceed, or come after
-to be or act in accordance with, to accept as authority
-to copy after: imitate
The ultimate invitation to follow was given by Yeshua, The Messiah to his talmidim (disciples). For example;
And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I shall make you fishers of men.” –Matthew 4:19
And as יהושע passed on from there, He saw a man called Mattithyahu sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he rose and followed Him. –Matthew 9:9
And to anyone who would desire to follow Him;
And He said to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake daily, and follow Me.” – Luke 9:23
We should go back to the first verse above and also note that following Yeshua is directly tied to serving Him also. This is an aspect of following Him that unfortunately many do not consider. He is the Master, and we would do well to remember this!
There is another place in Scripture where Paul implores others to follow him and it is this that will help drive home what “follow” looks like biblically.
“Become imitators of me, as I also am of Messiah.” – 1 Corinthians 11:1
To the extent that Paul imitates and follows Messiah, is the extent that we are to imitate him. At any point if Paul ceases to imitate Messiah, then the implication to follow/imitate him stops right there. For Paul to cease imitating Messiah is to basically make himself a loose cannon, a lone ranger and one building his own kingdom; because no longer would he be imitating the Messiah and following His example, he’d be imitating someone else or making his own path to be emulated now.
What did Messiah do? Was He a follower or a leader? How about both! To the extent that He was a follower, it was unto the Father. His own words attest to this when He said;
יהושע answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” – John 7:16
“Because I spoke not from Myself, but the Father who sent Me has given Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” – John 12:49
You see, this whole business of following has ONE source. That is the Word itself, the Word the Father spoke. This Word in the flesh is Yeshua. As an actual Word of instruction, it is His Torah, The King’s life-giving, good, pure, just and right Word.
Think about the love of Yeshua for us that not only was He for us the perfect example to follow, but He also showed us at the same time how to follow. This should give us serious pause when we read the words of Paul, for example, and *think* that He is telling people to not follow the Instructions given for liberty and life, the Torah: because If Paul did this, can we honestly with a clear conscience and straight face say that He is following Yeshua at that point? Could we really consider his writings as Scripture if that were the case? No! But we know that Paul did follow Messiah, and this is rather clear if we read his letters in context.
So ask yourself this: If the Messiah came following the very Word of the Father (and at the same time being that Word!), who implored his disciples to follow Him, then why would anyone ever think (and be so sure of themselves too!) that the ultimate example of what it looks like to follow broke course and blazed a different trail?
All Scriptures come from the ISR version unless otherwise noted
Coastlands Congregation of Messiah is a gathering of believers who have begun the journey of getting back to the Word. We are not afraid to shed the traditions of man in favor of the Word of our King. We exist to encourage one another and be a place to build others up in our Messiah Yeshua. We have discovered the ancient path that Jeremiah spoke about and it has changed our lives and our relationship with God through our Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus). We meet each Shabbat (Sabbath i.e. Saturday) at 1 PM and are located in Washington, Pennsylvania which is just south of Pittsburgh, PA.
If you are hungry to grow in your walk contact us at either firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-579-2739.