In the Church of St. Louis of France there is a picture painted by the famous painter Caravaggio called the conversion of St. Matthew. In you see St. Matthew with other people counting money and our Lord Jesus Christ who is entering the scene and pointing to St. Matthew saying “follow me.”
I simply wanted to draw attention to a detail of the painting, which is the hand of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As many art experts point out the hand of Christ is an imitation of the hand of Adam painted by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.
With this detail Caravaggio wanted to express a very important theological reality: Christ is the new Adam who came to save fallen humanity. And He came to save that humanity through the call to follow Him. It is as if Christ were telling St. Matthew “if you want me to be your new Adam you have to follow me.”
Following does not mean lining up behind Christ and walking behind him, but it means to walk as this new Adam walked and to stop walking as the old Adam walked, which is how sinners walk.
That is why Christ in the face of criticism for going to eat at St. Matthew’s house says that he came to call sinners and not the righteous. He is the new Adam who came to call the old Adams (sinners) to stop walking the way of Adam and begin walking the new path traced by Him.
The path traced by Christ is totally contrary to the path traced by Adam; for the way traced by Adam, as St. Paul says, is the way of disobedience and the way traced by Christ is the way of obedience to the Father.
If we want to walk behind Christ, we must walk in obedience to God the Father and His Will. That is the way to follow Christ. If we want to follow Christ by doing our will instead of God’s Will we are not really following Christ but we are following ourselves.
Hence the importance of examining ourselves to see how we are fulfilling God’s Will. If even in the smallest details of our life we seek to do our will, then we are not following Christ but we are following ourselves. Is the first question I ask myself what do I feel like doing, or do I ask myself what does God want me to do?
Only if I constantly ask myself the second question and try to act according to what I discern to be the Will of God am I really following Christ, otherwise I just say I am following Christ but in reality, I am following myself.