The theme of following Jesus appears throughout the Gospels. This theme certainly suggests more than physical proximity; it signifies a relationship between Jesus and others. Mark discusses following Jesus fifteen times in his short Gospel, no doubt connecting it to his emphasis on discipleship. Furthermore, in Mark 3:14 we read that Jesus appointed the Twelve to be “with Him,” that is, to engage in daily interaction and to follow wherever He led. Jesus sought the allegiance of His followers in exchange for life-giving instruction and daily provision. After establishing the theme of following Jesus, Mark records a story about Peter that signifies a shift in the theme. For three years Peter had followed Jesus. However, in Mark 14:54, shortly after Jesus’ arrest, we read that Peter followed Jesus “at a distance.”
Like Peter, you and I may be following the right Person at the wrong distance. And that distance makes us vulnerable. Are you following Jesus at a distance?