In the remarkable book I cited from earlier, Eduard Schweizer’s Lordship and Discipleship, the author goes on to provide a very helpful and concise summary of what exactly is entailed in the Gospels whenever Jesus “calls” a person to “follow” him as a disciple. After exhaustively overviewing every call scene in the Gospels, Schweizer traces a five-fold pattern of discipleship for us today; this is what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
1.) Jesus has called people to follow him; this allegiance to his person he regards as a decisive, indeed as the decisive act.
2.) His calling is the beginning of something new, changing all things. It takes place in sovereign liberty and can at once assume the character of an act of divine grace.
3.) Following Jesus means togetherness with Jesus and service to him.
4.) It entails giving up all other ties, to boat and tax-office, to father and mother, in short, to one’s own life, to oneself.
5.) As Jesus’ own way, by divine necessity, leads to rejection, suffering and death, and only so to glory, so also the way of those who follow him.