What did Jesus mean when he said “follow me”?
KJV - 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
As indicated in the verse cited in the question, when Jesus told people to follow Him, He was not referring to the simple act of trailing after Him, but learning from Him, obeying His commandments, and assigning Him the top priority in their lives (even to the point of the forfeiture of life itself), with the specific goal of bringing other people to the faith in Him that was necessary for salvation and eternal life. In addition, Jesus' command to follow Him had the implication of immediacy, as indicated by Matthew's response to His call, despite being actively engaged in his duties as a tax collector. It was not something that permitted delay for any reason, as was evidenced by His response to people who wanted to defer full-time commitment, even for a reason that might be regarded as "natural" or "understandable" as wanting to say farewell to those at home first (Luke 9:61), or waiting for even someone as close as a parent to pass away (Luke 9:59-60). At the same time, in passages such as Luke 14:25-33, Mark 10:17-31, and Matthew 10:37-39, it was clear that He also wanted those who followed Him to make it an informed decision about the earthly cost that would be involved in doing so (although it was with the equally clear implication that anyone who was not willing to accept that cost was not worthy to be His follower, and that any such temporal cost would be far outweighed by the eternal rewards received.)
The command written by Matthew quoting Jesus in the Greek is δεῦτε ἀπίσω μου come after me [follow Me], simply means "be My disciples": Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17. Jesus, the Savior in Mark 1:16-20 calls Andrew, Peter, James, and John, promising to make them fishers of men! The call to discipleship is definite and demands a response of total commitment.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.