Following Jesus Christ
Most Relevant Verses
And great crowds joined and accompanied Him about, coming from Galilee and Decapolis [the district of the ten cities east of the Sea of Galilee] and Jerusalem and Judea and from the other [the east] side of the Jordan.
And a great crowd was following Him because they had seen the signs (miracles) which He [continually] performed upon those who were sick.
And as Jesus, together with His disciples, sat at table in his [Levi's] house, many tax collectors and persons [ definitely stained] with sin were dining with Him, for there were many who walked the same road (followed) with Him.
And instantly he received his sight and began to follow Jesus, recognizing, praising, and honoring God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.
As He was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He noticed two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, throwing a dragnet into the sea, for they were fishermen. And He said to them, Come after Me [as disciples -- "letting Me be your Guide], follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men! At once they left their nets and became His disciples [sided with His party and followed Him].
And passing along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon [Peter] and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net [to and fro] in the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, Come after Me and be My disciples, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And at once they left their nets and [ yielding up all claim to them] followed [with] Him [ joining Him as disciples and siding with His party].
He went on a little farther and saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were in [their] boat putting their nets in order. And immediately He called out to them, and [ abandoning all mutual claims] they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and went off after Him [ to be His disciples, side with His party, and follow Him].
As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's office; and He said to him, Be My disciple [side with My party and follow Me]. And he rose and followed Him.
And as He was passing by, He saw Levi (Matthew) son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, Follow Me! [Be joined to Me as a disciple, side with My party!] And he arose and joined Him as His disciple and sided with His party and accompanied Him.
And after this, Jesus went out and looked [attentively] at a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office; and He said to him, Join Me as a disciple and side with My party and accompany Me. And he forsook everything and got up and followed Him [becoming His disciple and siding with His party].
The next day Jesus desired and decided to go into Galilee; and He found Philip and said to him, Join Me as My attendant and follow Me. Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the same city as Andrew and Peter. Philip sought and found Nathanael and told him, We have found (discovered) the One Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote about -- "Jesus from Nazareth, the [legal] son of Joseph!
Jesus answered him, If you would be perfect [that is, have that spiritual maturity which accompanies self-sacrificing character], go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; and come, be My disciple [side with My party and follow Me].
And Jesus, looking upon him, loved him, and He said to him, You lack one thing; go and sell all you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come [and] accompany Me [ walking the same road that I walk].
And when Jesus heard it, He said to him, One thing you still lack. Sell everything that you have and divide [the money] among the poor, and you will have [rich] treasure in heaven; and come back [and] follow Me [become My disciple, join My party, and accompany Me]. But when he heard this, he became distressed and very sorrowful, for he was rich -- "exceedingly so.
And He said to another, Become My disciple, side with My party, and accompany Me! But he replied, Lord, permit me first to go and bury ( await the death of) my father. But Jesus said to him, Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and publish abroad throughout all regions the kingdom of God.
For it has been made clear to me, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions and wrangling and factions among you. What I mean is this, that each one of you [either] says, I belong to Paul, or I belong to Apollos, or I belong to Cephas (Peter), or I belong to Christ. Is Christ (the Messiah) divided into parts? Was Paul crucified on behalf of you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?
Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [ cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]. For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting]. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] life [in the kingdom of God]?
And Jesus called [to Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and [ joining Me as a disciple and siding with My party] follow with Me [continually, cleaving steadfastly to Me]. For whoever wants to save his [ higher, spiritual, eternal] life, will lose it [the lower, natural, temporal life which is lived only on earth]; and whoever gives up his life [which is lived only on earth] for My sake and the Gospel's will save it [his higher, spiritual life in the eternal kingdom of God]. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life [ in the eternal kingdom of God]?read more.
For what can a man give as an exchange ( a compensation, a ransom, in return) for his [blessed] life [ in the eternal kingdom of God]?
And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [ disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [ cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also]. For whoever would preserve his life and save it will lose and destroy it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he will preserve and save it [ from the penalty of eternal death]. For what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and ruins or forfeits (loses) himself?
He who loves [and takes more pleasure in] father or mother more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves [and takes more pleasure in] son or daughter more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me; And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me [ cleave steadfastly to Me, conforming wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also] is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his [ lower] life will lose it [the higher life], and whoever loses his [lower] life on My account will find it [the higher life].
Now huge crowds were going along with [Jesus], and He turned and said to them, If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [ in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters -- "[yes] and even his own life also -- "he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple.read more.
For which of you, wishing to build a farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he has sufficient means to finish it? Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete [the building], all who see it will begin to mock and jeer at him, Saying, This man began to build and was not able ( worth enough) to finish. Or what king, going out to engage in conflict with another king, will not first sit down and consider and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand [men] to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if he cannot [do so], when the other king is still a great way off, he sends an envoy and asks the terms of peace. So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple.
And Jesus answered them, The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified and exalted. I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest. Anyone who loves his life loses it, but anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. [Whoever has no love for, no concern for, no regard for his life here on earth, but despises it, preserves his life forever and ever.]
And a scribe came up and said to Him, Master, I will accompany You wherever You go. And Jesus replied to him, Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have lodging places, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.
And it occurred that as they were going along the road, a man said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go. And Jesus told him, Foxes have lurking holes and the birds of the air have roosts and nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.
Another also said, I will follow You, Lord, and become Your disciple and side with Your party; but let me first say good-bye to those at my home. Jesus said to him, No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.
After this, many of His disciples drew back (returned to their old associations) and no longer accompanied Him.
So when He had finished washing their feet and had put on His garments and had sat down again, He said to them, Do you understand what I have done to you? You call Me the Teacher (Master) and the Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is what I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher (Master), have washed your feet, you ought [it is your duty, you are under obligation, you owe it] to wash one another's feet.read more.
For I have given you this as an example, so that you should do [in your turn] what I have done to you. I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, A servant is not greater than his master, and no one who is sent is superior to the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed and happy and to be envied are you if you practice them [if you act accordingly and really do them].
He said this to indicate by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. And after this, He said to him, Follow Me!
But this I confess to you, however, that in accordance with the Way [of the Lord], which they call a [heretical, division-producing] sect, I worship (serve) the God of our fathers, still persuaded of the truth of and believing in and placing full confidence in everything laid down in the Law [of Moses] or written in the prophets;
Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).
And you [set yourselves to] become imitators of us and [through us] of the Lord Himself, for you welcomed our message in [spite of] much persecution, with joy [inspired] by the Holy Spirit;
[After all] what kind of glory [is there in it] if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you take it patiently? But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] when you do right and that is undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God. For even to this were you called [it is inseparable from your vocation]. For Christ also suffered for you, leaving you [His personal] example, so that you should follow in His footsteps. He was guilty of no sin, neither was deceit (guile) ever found on His lips.read more.
When He was reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult in return; [when] He was abused and suffered, He made no threats [of vengeance]; but he trusted [Himself and everything] to Him Who judges fairly.
These are they who have not defiled themselves by relations with women, for they are [ pure as] virgins. These are they who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These are they who have been ransomed (purchased, redeemed) from among men as the firstfruits for God and the Lamb.
They will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will triumph over them; for He is Lord of lords and King of kings -- "and those with Him and on His side are chosen and called [elected] and loyal and faithful followers.
Then Peter answered Him, saying, Behold, we have left [our] all and have become Your disciples [sided with Your party and followed You]. What then shall we receive? Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, in the new age [the Messianic rebirth of the world], when the Son of Man shall sit down on the throne of His glory, you who have [become My disciples, sided with My party and] followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. And anyone and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for My name's sake will receive many [even a hundred] times more and will inherit eternal life.read more.
But many who [now] are first will be last [then], and many who [now] are last will be first [then].
Peter started to say to Him, Behold, we have yielded up and abandoned everything [once and for all and joined You as Your disciples, siding with Your party] and accompanied You [ walking the same road that You walk]. Jesus said, Truly I tell you, there is no one who has given up and left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for My sake and for the Gospel's Who will not receive a hundred times as much now in this time -- "houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions -- "and in the age to come, eternal life.read more.
But many [who are now] first will be last [then], and many [who are now] last will be first [then].
And Peter said, See, we have left our own [things -- "home, family, and business] and have followed You. And He said to them, I say to you truly, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God Who will not receive in return many times more in this world and, in the coming age, eternal life.
Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.
If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [ to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
- Commitment, to Jesus Christ
- Crowds Around Jesus
- Gospel, Responses To
- How Disciples Are Called
- Instructions About Following
- Jesus Healing
- Self Denial
- Self Sacrifice
- Discipleship, cost of