Follow Me. We’ve already looked at the Greek grammar of this phrase and realized that when Jesus says it to Simon, Andrew, James, John, and Levi in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), that Jesus is usually commanding them to follow him. He is not extending an invitation for them to accept, but he is commanding them to obey. Today we look more specifically at why the Greek grammar is different in two of the occurrences: Matthew 4:19 and Mark 1:17.
Yes, the English translations all look the same, but I’m certain that you understand that Matthew, nor Mark, spoke or wrote in English. In these two references today, they actually use an entirely different Greek word, and in fact, different parts of speech. In these two instances, they do not use a command, but a phrase of words that includes an interjection and a prepositional phrase. Literally, it translates “Come, after me.” The Greek word for come is the interjection, which means that it carries an emphatic emotion, similar to a command. And then the prepositional phrase “after me” qualifies the word “come” with descriptive instruction.
Here’s the point:This phrase, used twice in our 6 occurrences of consideration, tells followers what it means to actually follow Jesus. It tells followers that to follow Jesus means to “come, after him.” It takes me back to me childhood when I would play “Follow the Leader” with my sister, and one of us would lead out on our bicycle adventure with the other close behind. Wherever one would go, the other would go. When one would turn down a sidewalk, or zigzag in between speed breakers in a parking lot, the other would be right behind. Jesus intended for his disciples to leave behind their lifestyle to go where he would go, to do what he would do, to think like he would think, to live like he would live; ultimately, to follow close behind him.