“Jesus said to him, ‘If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” (John 21:22)
Thus Jesus’ first word to Peter (Matthew 4:19) was now also His last: “Follow Me!” And it is His unchanging word to His disciples today as well.
When Jesus first called Peter and Andrew in Matthew 4:19, He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Much had happened since that day. Peter had followed Jesus for three years, had denied Him three times before His death, and had now been restored. As he followed Jesus off the scene, he still had questions about what was going to happen to him and the others (:21). But Jesus had one message to him: “Follow Me!” That first command to Peter had not changed, in all those years; through all those circumstances. His basic responsibility was still just to follow Him.
And that is Jesus’ unchanging command to ALL of His disciples. We are to follow Him. That is what being a disciple means. Being a disciple of Jesus isn’t just a matter of just attending a worship service every week; or of performing a ritual or sacrament. It means to FOLLOW HIM daily.
And remember, Jesus spoke this to Peter in the context of the foreboding prophecy of the kind of death he would die to glorify Him. These were somber words. Difficult things were ahead for Peter. So what is he to do, in light of all this? “Follow Me.” This is Jesus’ call to His disciple. It always is. In blessing or tribulation; in comfort or in trial; in life or in death — the disciple is just to follow Him. It is the first thing He called us to do, and it never changes. So what are YOU to do today, in light of your particular situation or circumstances? Jesus’ words to Peter are still His message for us today as well: Follow Him. It is His first and last word to His disciples