Christianity has a rich and storied history, and we also have a very deep and developed theology. If you want to learn about Christology, Pneumatology, eschatology, soteriology, ecclesiology, or anthropology, you don’t have to look very hard to find a plethora of books to answer any of your questions. Rich theological development is good and necessary, but sometimes, simplicity is also just as beneficial. Recently I’ve been reminded of the simplicity of many of Christ’s commands, and particularly one command that He gave to His disciples: “Follow Me.”
In Mark 1, Jesus was walking along the Sea of Galilee and spotted Simon Peter and Andrew. The two men were fishing, and Jesus issued this simple command: “Follow Me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Next Jesus came to James and John, who were also fishing, and gave them the same command: “Follow Me.” James and John immediately left their boat (and their father) to follow Jesus.
In one sense, this command is so simple. Jesus did NOT say, “If you want to be my disciple, you need to jump three times, turn around, shake a stick in the air, and do the hokey pokey.” No, He simply said, “Follow Me.” The command was clear, concise, and very easy to understand, but just because the command was simple to understand does not necessarily mean it was easy to do.
Peter, Andrew, James and John were not simply fishing for fun. Fishing was their career, and Jesus called them to leave it. What’s more, James and John actually left their father! If Christ called you to leave your career, to leave your community, or even to leave behind loved ones in order to follow Him, would you willingly obey? The truth is, as followers of Christ, He has give us the same command — to follow Him, no matter the cost. This command requires simple understanding, but steadfast commitment.
The curious thing about following Christ is that He is not simply standing still; rather, Christ is always on the move. If we are not following closely, the distance between us and Christ naturally gets greater. Introduce a little simplicity in your life. Put aside other concerns, and simply Follow Him.