The King of kings is on Mount Zion, victorious over all the nations. The Lamb has defeated the dragon through His sacrifice, strange that sounds but we are now called to live out that victory. How? By following Jesus in every aspect of our lives. This is not a new concept to John by any means. A cursory glance at his gospel reveals this:
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. (1:37); Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” (1:38); Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. (1:40); The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” (1:43); and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. (6:2) From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” (6:66) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (8:12); When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice (10:4); But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, (10:5); My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me (10:27); When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her. (11:31); Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. (12:26); “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” (13:36); Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” (13:37); Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. (18:15); The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. (21:8); Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” (21:19) Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (21:20); Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” (21:22)
So that is already within John’s heart and mind and he personally has followed Jesus all the way to Patmos having survived being boiled in oil on the orders of Domitian (author Tertullian wrote of this). Here in his vision he sees the 144,000 at Mount Zion.
“And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.” (Revelation 14 v 3-5)
Those that follow Jesus:
- Are purchased/redeemed, same word. We carry the name and we are carried by the name, wherever he goes, wherever that is on this earth, into whichever job we work, people we live with, wherever, no turning back, no matter how difficult, we are not our own, we are His and as we follow we will be brought home.
- Are ready for battle. We are virgins meaning we are the ancient warriors abstaining from sexual relations before a holy war. We are a holy, focused soldier of the 144,000 army ready to engage with the beasts. Some of us will be injured and some of us will die fighting. We are ready for this.
- We speak truth. The enemy of our soul spews out all kinds of lies and deception but with us is the truth. Even when it is difficult we do not cover over even our mistakes. There is no compromise. We can be trusted.
That’s what it means to follow Jesus.