To follow Him can be really hard. There doesn’t seem to be any contingency plan for any who are looking to escape such a drastic call. Jesus either is, or He isn’t our Lord. “Do you also want to leave?” This is a question that will be asked to every disciple–sometimes once, and sometimes repeatedly.
There are these crystalline moments when I must make a decision. Will I take up my cross and go with Him? There doesn’t seem to be any room in Jesus’ band for ‘almost’ disciples. That scares me sometimes.
Being obedient is far from easy. Today’s cross is waiting for me. I’m afraid at times that I won’t be able to take the next step as a true follower. Am I just fooling myself?
All of heaven seems to stand on tiptoe to see what I’m going to do next.
Who am I really?
“After this, many of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance:
“Do you also want to leave?”
“Peter replied, “Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We’ve already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God.”
John 6:66-69, The Message
Image from Wikipedia, verses are from The Message Bible by Eugene Peterson.
The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”
Considering this whole passage must bring us to the place of seeing God’s Will as supreme. He asks for a complete and comprehensive obedience. We can never entertain a lesser commitment. Following Jesus, as His disciple will radically alter our priorities and change our relationships. Irrevocably.
There was a negotiation of sorts taking place. This would-be disciple was trying to be reasonable. His heart appears to be already in harness. Being Jesus’ disciple was what he really wanted. But, there was this slight problem, it really seemed logical and definitely prudent and sensible.
Yet Jesus doesn’t negotiate with him. He does not accept the argument of reasonability and propriety. The call to walk out discipleship requires a whole-hearted, full-bore dedication to Jesus Christ as Lord. Everything must be adjusted. And nothing is ever the same.
Have you dictated to Jesus what is reasonable? Are you adjusting discipleship to your own terms of what is appropriate? This particular passage in Luke 9 has implications to us today. A rock was thrown into the pond, and the ripple is still being seen and felt. Simply put, we are being called to authenticity. We cannot reduce discipleship to fit our personal desires.
Will we adjust? Will we sell out to the Kingdom’s supremacy? To be a concert violinist requires intense effort and commitment. A professional athlete takes his training to a level that is unbelievable to the average person. Both have a dedication to their calling. Can we just assume that something less is considered to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Please re-examine your thinking. I certainly do not want to condemn or judge. But I am afraid that we are using discipleship without considering what that really means, and we entertain a definition that somehow defaults to an acceptable level. Are we really that willing to undergo an adjustment that is nothing less than radical transformation of our faith?