John 12:26 records Jesus’ response to some who want to see Him with, “If these Greeks want to be My disciples, tell them to come and follow Me, for My servants must be where I am. And if they follow Me, the Father will honor them.”
Jesus, God as human, never sat down with anyone who wanted to get right with God in order to lead them through a simple prayer of salvation. Most of the time that Jesus identified people as among those who were His it was as those who followed Him.
This is the missing link in our current brand of Christianity. People are praying prayers to go to heaven but they are not following Jesus.
What does it mean to follow Jesus?
One of the by products of true followers is that they become fishers of men. This was the goal of Jesus’ followership when He invited men to follow Him so that He could form them into fishers of men. If we are not seeking and saving the lost as Jesus did we are not following Jesus. Jesus was and is a friend of sinners and those who follow Him, He proclaims, will be where He is. Where is Jesus? Jesus is being a friend to sinners in order to win them back to the Father’s heart.
Following Jesus requires doing what He did, taking up our cross daily in order that we might say as He did, ‘not my will but Your will be done Father.’ Jesus came not to do His own will but the will of His Father Who sent Him. To follow Jesus is to do the will of Jesus regardless of personal cost or consequence. In reality, as doing the Father’s will cost Jesus His life, we should expect to pay with our lives, our selfish and self-centered lives, in order to do the will of Jesus. Jesus identified this cost when He promised unless we lose our lives, denying ourselves, we cannot be His disciples.
A follower lays down His own interests in order to take up the will of God which will focus primarily upon the restoration of humanity to God the Father through Jesus the Son.