Jesus was all about having his disciples follow him...that's really what it meant to be a disciple...to follow Jesus. As Jesus launched his ministry and assembled the disciples we see this:
John 1:43 'The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." '
Jesus described himself as the shepherd of a flock in chapter 10 (verse 4): 'When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.'
and there is a discipline of following Jesus that is vital to growth and effectiveness:
John 12:26 'If anyone serves me, he must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.'
So it was a little surprising when Jesus told his disciples that they couldn't follow him late in his earthly ministry.
John 13:36 'Simon Peter said to him, "Lord where are you going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward."
After following Jesus for three years they were instructed not to follow...actually they were unable to follow...Jesus as he went to be crucified. Only he could go through that awesome sacrifice and suffering to pave the way for Peter and all of us, who have trusted in Jesus, to follow afterward.
After Jesus was resurrected he reappeared to the disciples and gave them instructions to carry on after he would leave them. Once again he instructed them to follow:
He gave Peter instructions personally in John 21:19 '(This he said to show by what kind of death he (Peter) was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, "Follow me."
Jesus went the one place we cannot follow in order to make it possible to follow him in this life and beyond to be with him in eternity.