The words “follow me” said by Jesus are among the most well-known in the Bible. They appear in each of the four Gospels and are frequently quoted as a call to follow Jesus.
One can either “come after me,” “come with me,” or “obey me” when told to “follow me.” It’s an order that requires people to start fresh by following Jesus.
How Many Times Did Jesus Say Follow Me in The Bible?
Jesus said “Follow Me” more than 13 times in the Bible. Most times he said it was to the Twelve Disciples, but he also said it to many other people, including Mary Magdalene, and Zacchaeus.
The Phrase “Follow Me”
The call to “follow me” can be seen in each of the four Gospels. Among its many applications, a call to discipleship stands out.
Peter and Andrew, James and John, Matthew the tax collector, and the rich young ruler are among those to whom Jesus says, “Follow me,” in the Gospel of Matthew. James and John, Simon and Andrew, and Levi the tax collector are all called to “follow me” in the gospel of Mark. Jesus tells Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John, “Follow me” in the book of Luke. Philip and Nathanael are invited to “follow me” by Jesus in the Gospel of John.
Different translations of the phrase “Follow me” include “come after me,” “come with me,” and “obey me.” It’s an order to give up one’s previous ways and start living in accordance with Jesus’ teachings.
The Times Jesus Said “Follow Me”
In the Bible, Jesus repeatedly uttered the phrase “follow me.” The initial occasion occurred when he summoned his first disciples, Simon Peter and Andrew, to become fishers of men. The incident is documented in all four Gospels: Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:1-11, and John 1:35-42.
In the account given by Matthew, it is mentioned that Jesus was walking along the Sea of Galilee when he noticed Simon Peter and Andrew engaged in casting their nets into the water. He invited them, saying, “Come, follow me, and I will teach you how to become fishers of men.” Peter and Andrew promptly abandoned their fishing nets and began to follow Jesus.
The expression “fishers of men” is a metaphorical way of describing the act of leading people to Christ. In ancient times, fishermen were often regarded as individuals who displayed great courage by venturing into uncharted territories and embracing uncertainty.
Additionally, they were regarded as individuals with exceptional fishing abilities. Jesus used this metaphor to convey that he was inviting people to embrace a life of discipleship. This life would demand their willingness to venture into unfamiliar territories, take risks, and develop the ability to effectively share the message of Jesus Christ with others.
In the account written by Mark, Jesus called out to people, urging them to follow him. It was during this time that he noticed James and John, who were the sons of Zebedee, in a boat with their father, Zebedee. He invited them, saying, “Come, follow me, and I will teach you how to become fishers of men.” James and John promptly abandoned their boat and their father to follow Jesus.
The instances in which Jesus uttered the words “follow me” to various individuals demonstrate his inclusive invitation to people from diverse backgrounds to become his followers. He called people from various walks of life, including fishermen, tax collectors, and even individuals who were wealthy and influential. This demonstrates that Jesus’ invitation to follow him is not restricted to any specific group of individuals. The call is open to everyone.
Instance in The Bible
Here are some instances where the words ‘Follow me’ can be found in the books of Matthew, Luke, and John:
Here is a breakdown of the times Jesus said “follow me” in each book:
- 4:19 (to Simon Peter and Andrew)
- 9:9 (to Matthew the tax collector)
- 10:21 (to the rich young ruler)
- 16:24 (to his disciples)
- 19:21 (to a rich young man)
- 28:19 (to his disciples)
- 5:10 (to Simon Peter and Andrew)
- 6:48 (to his disciples)
- 9:23 (to his disciples)
- 18:22 (to a rich young man)
- 1:43 (to Philip)
- 1:49 (to Nathanael)
- 21:22 (to Peter)
The Meaning of Jesus’ Words
The interpretation of Jesus’ words “follow me” is multifaceted and has been subject to various interpretations.
- There are individuals who hold the belief that Jesus was merely extending an invitation to people to become his disciples. This implies that individuals would acquire knowledge from him and adhere to his teachings.
- Some argue that Jesus’ call to follow him was nothing more than an invitation. This indicates that people would be open to his teachings and take them to heart.
- Yet some take Jesus’ words as a call to devote one’s entire life to following his teachings. This would be evidenced by their commitment to Jesus and obedience to his teachings.
- Some people think Jesus was encouraging them to make a spiritual journey, to become Christ-like witnesses through evangelising others. This means that they would actively seek out opportunities to witness for Jesus and bring others into a relationship with him.
It’s clear that Jesus’ command to “follow me” can be taken in a variety of ways. However, its invitation to spiritual growth, evangelism, and discipleship is obvious, nevertheless.
Interpretations of Jesus’ Words
Many diverse meanings have been attached to the phrase “follow me” throughout history. Common understandings include the following:
- A call to discipleship
- A call to a deeper level of commitment
- A call to a spiritual journey
- A call to evangelism
- A call to social justice
Jesus’ call to “follow me” might be understood in a variety of ways, depending on the context and the listener’s familiarity with his teachings. Nonetheless, no matter how you slice it, these statements constitute a call to follow Jesus.
The Implications of Jesus’ Words
The implications of Jesus’ words, “follow me,” carry significant consequences. We are called to a life of discipleship, to faithfully follow Jesus in every aspect of our lives. Additionally, we are called to embrace a life of evangelism, spreading the message of Jesus Christ’s good news to those around us. Jesus’ teachings inspire us to lead lives that are pleasing to God.
1. A Call to Discipleship
Discipleship involves committing to a lifelong journey of faithfully following Jesus. It involves gaining knowledge from Jesus, imitating his actions, and aligning our lives with his teachings. As followers of Jesus, we are called to live a life marked by obedience, humility, and service. We are called to love one another in the same way that Jesus loves us.
2. A Call to Evangelism
Evangelism refers to the practise of spreading the message of Jesus Christ’s good news to others. This calling is open to everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances. When we share the gospel with others, our purpose is to communicate the good news that Jesus came to save the world from sin and death.
3. Living a Life that is Pleasing to God
When we choose to follow Jesus, we are called to live our lives in a manner that is pleasing to God. This entails living our lives in alignment with His will and following His commandments. It also means living our lives in a manner that mirrors his love and compassion.
4. The Promise of Jesus’ Presence
Jesus promises to accompany us throughout our entire journey of discipleship. He will assist us in nurturing our faith and guide us in living a life that aligns with his desires. We are not alone on this journey. Jesus is always by our side, and he will never abandon or desert us.
The Importance of Jesus’ Words
The profound significance of Jesus’ words, “follow me,” resonates deeply within the sacred pages of the Bible. These words beckon us to embrace a journey of discipleship, evangelism, and spiritual maturation. Living our lives in a manner that pleases God can be quite a challenge. Furthermore, they serve as a steadfast assurance that Jesus will accompany us throughout our journey, unwaveringly.
Why are these words important?
The significance of these words lies in their gentle reminder that Jesus beckons us to embrace his path and walk alongside him. They also serve as a reminder that the path of following Jesus may not always be smooth, but it is undeniably rewarding. When we choose to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, we find solace in the knowledge that we are never alone. He assures us of his unwavering presence, accompanying us faithfully throughout our journey.
What Does It Mean to Follow Jesus?
The path of following Jesus encompasses various interpretations and perspectives among individuals. For certain individuals, it signifies nothing less than placing their unwavering faith in him and embracing him as their divine Redeemer and Sovereign. For those who seek the path of righteousness, it entails embracing His divine teachings and faithfully adhering to His holy commandments in the conduct of their lives. Yet, there are those who perceive the act of embracing Jesus as an invitation to embark upon a journey of devoted servitude and fervent proclamation of the Gospel.
Regardless of our attempts to delineate its parameters, the pursuit of Jesus is an enduring odyssey that spans the entirety of our lives. It is a sacred pilgrimage of acquiring wisdom and maturing in faith, of trials and blessings bestowed upon us. It is a sacred pilgrimage that we shall not always comprehend, yet it is a sacred pilgrimage that is ultimately worth embarking upon.
Why Is It Worth Following Jesus?
There are numerous reasons why it’s worth following Jesus. I have a few options for you:
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the only person who has the ability to rescue us from our wrongdoings and grant us everlasting life.
Jesus loves us without any conditions. Despite being aware of our weaknesses and failures, he continues to love us.
Jesus provides us with hope. Even when things are tough right now, he still manages to give us hope for the future.
Jesus is always with us. He assures us that he will never abandon or desert us.
If you’re searching for a life filled with meaning and purpose, I suggest you take a moment to contemplate following Jesus. This journey will have its fair share of challenges, but it will also bring you immense joy and fulfilment along the way.
In exploring how many times Jesus said “Follow me” in the Bible, we’ve uncovered more than a numerical count. What emerges is an enduring invitation that resonates through the ages—a call to a life of purpose, transformation, and eternal significance.
As we reflect on this invitation, may we hear the gentle whisper of Jesus saying, “Follow me,” and may our response be one of wholehearted commitment to the transformative journey He offers. The call isn’t confined to the pages of ancient scripture; it echoes through the corridors of time, reaching us today with the same potency.
In every “Follow Me,” Jesus extends an invitation to a life marked by purpose, guided by transformation, and grounded in eternal significance. It’s an invitation that transcends the limitations of time and space, beckoning us to join the countless individuals who have embarked on this profound journey of discipleship.
FAQs on How Many Times Did Jesus Say Follow Me in The Bible
1. How many times did Jesus say “Follow Me” in the Bible?
- In the Gospel of Matthew, the phrase “Follow Me” is mentioned approximately 20 times.
- Mark’s Gospel records about 6 instances of Jesus extending the invitation to “Follow Me.”
- Luke’s Gospel captures Jesus saying “Follow Me” around 9 times.
- In the Gospel of John, the phrase is mentioned approximately 7 times.
2. What is the significance of the invitation to “Follow Me”?
- The invitation goes beyond a mere call to be followers; it’s an invitation to a life of purpose, meaning, and eternal significance.
- It signifies a transformative relationship with Jesus, involving a continuous journey of faith and a profound inner shift in priorities and values.
3. How does each Gospel writer portray the call to “Follow Me”?
- Matthew’s account showcases the diversity of individuals Jesus called, including fishermen and tax collectors.
- Mark emphasizes the urgency in Jesus’ call, with about 6 instances recorded.
- Luke highlights the transformative nature of discipleship in approximately 9 instances.
- John’s Gospel underscores the promise of an abundant life in the invitation to “Follow Me.”
4. Is the call to “Follow Me” a one-time decision or a continuous journey?
- Following Jesus is not a one-time decision but a continuous journey of faith, involving daily choices, trust, and surrender.
- It requires prioritizing the eternal over the temporary and navigating the challenges of life in alignment with Jesus’ teachings.
5. How can we respond to the call to “Follow Me” today?
- Responding to the call involves daily choices of aligning our lives with Jesus’ teachings.
- It requires prioritizing the eternal over the temporary and actively seeking to live out His principles in our daily lives.
- The journey is not solitary; it’s a communal experience where we walk alongside fellow believers.
6. Is the call to “Follow Me” universal?
- Yes, the call to “Follow Me” is universal, transcending cultural, geographical, and temporal boundaries.
- It’s an invitation extended to people of all backgrounds and walks of life, echoing through the ages.