Am I Like Peter?

66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

John 6:66-68, ESV

To be an authentic follower of Jesus can be really hard sometimes. There doesn’t seem to be any contingency plan for anyone who is looking to escape. Jesus either is, or He isn’t our Lord. The question is posed daily, “Do you also want to leave?”

That’s a question that will be asked to every disciple–I will hear it every morning for the rest of my life.

These are moments when I must make a decision. Will I take up my cross and go with Him? I’ve looked around and there doesn’t seem to be any room in Jesus’ band for ‘almost’ disciples. But Jesus loves Peter, and Jesus loves me. I believe this.

“And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself],

And take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also].

Luke 9:23, Amplified Bible

Being obedient to Jesus is far from easy these days. Today’s cross is waiting for me as my feet hit the floor each morning. 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? Will Jesus keep helping and holding me? (Matthew 11:28-30.)

All of heaven seems to stand on tiptoe to watch and see what I’m going to do next.

“Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.”

Psalm 73:25, NLT

Come, Follow Me

“He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”

   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.”

Luke 9:59-60

 

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?

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