I love my wife. On my best days I order my life around what’s best for her — and she for me. Parents also do this for children.
Then there’s authority. In some settings we commit to submit. The military. The workplace. Fitness training and athletics.
Following Jesus combines the best of all this.
I love Him. He deserves it, of course, since He created and died for me.
So what does my love look like? I’m poring over His life, reading His words, learning obedience, tracing backstories, exploring context, and responding as if to a real person rather than a character in a novel. Did He just stop a storm? I physically get on my face to acknowledge His sovereignty.
Day by day the Man takes on personhood.
It might have been easier to follow Him in His actual presence, but I don’t think so. Nothing about the disciples suggests they had any advantage over us. What made the difference for them is the same thing that can help us follow Jesus.
Trace the flow of John’s gospel through chapter fourteen and you find discouraged men. Their Master is leaving them. But Jesus urges them not to worry. The Father won’t leave you orphaned — without a Guide, Teacher, and Protector — He’ll send Someone just like Me to take My place.
There’s every indication in the surrounding passages that we are not disadvantaged by Jesus’ absence.
Take a month and read through John a bunch of times. See if it doesn’t help you follow Jesus.