Following Jesus Pt 3

Posted: May 20, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Thoughts, Writing
Tags: , , ,

To follow Jesus is to have a greater love for Jesus than for any other relationship.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:26

The word hate here was used in what would have been understood by a Jewish person as an expression that aims at contrasting two things. Jesus is not in any way saying that you should have hatred in your heart. What he is saying is that you should love him more that anything. In other words, to follow Jesus is to love him and make him so central to our lives that in comparison to our love for God any other relationship looks like hate. And as if that weren’t enough, we are to be willing to give up our own life for the sake of Jesus. Without being willing to give up of every relationship we know, and come to grips with even giving our own life, we cannot be a disciple of Jesus.

Our allegiance to Jesus is to be such that if such a difficult decision were to be made, we would choose Jesus and his mission. There are countless stories of martyrs that have given their lives in places where Christians are not welcomed. Many have risked the lives of their wives, children, and their own in order to take the story of God to places that have never heard of Jesus.

2 Questions

I know that there you are probably thinking, “What is this mission of Jesus that you keep talking about?”

To follow Jesus is to do what he was sent to do. That is, to do what he would be doing if here were here today. The Bible tells us that Jesus came “to give his life and be a ransom for many”. Jesus came to sacrifice His life for the good of others- people who were His enemies and wanted nothing to do with Him. Jesus came to “seek and save the lost”. He came to the world so that people who rebelled against his authority as king of the universe could be made right with him. Jesus says this to us now. “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus’ mission is to go after men and women who are rebelling against Jesus and are far from him. Although this mission is to be carried out in the company of other believers, we should not be locked into a Christian ghetto that does not engage in the global mission of Jesus. Our commission is to make the news that Jesus saves known on every corner of the earth, starting in MD. The mission of Jesus is also to seek the good of others, even if it means we sacrifice for it.

But is it worth it? Do I really want to give up my money, career, skills, relationships just because Jesus said to follow him? 

Jesus is definitely worth it. Certain things will seem risky and I believe that Jesus wants us to take risks to see Maryland become a better place and for people who don’t know Jesus to know him. But, when we see Jesus and all that he is for us, it is not a risk to give up things for Jesus. It is the safest and smartest thing for us to do. When Jesus becomes more valuable and more precious to us that anything we own we would be willing to give up everything with joy. Jesus tells a parable (story) of a man to make this point clear. In Matthew 13:44 we see two stories, one of a farmer and one of a merchant. When the farmer walks through a field and finds a treasure, he sells all that he has in order to buy that land so that he can have the treasure.

Although sacrifice is necessary and there is a cost to discipleship, who Jesus is and what he does for you is incomparable and far greater than what you give up. What you gain, in the place of what you give up, is infinitely better. The main thrust of this story is that when you come across a treasure, or something of value that is greater than what you currently have, you are willing to give up all that you have so that you could have that treasure. The picture here is of someone who is willing to give up everything if he could just have Jesus.

It is not about what you do, how often you do it, or how much you give up. The attention would then be on your sacrifice. The climax of this passage and the cause of joy is in what the farmer and merchant are getting not what they are sacrificing.

The Jesus who calls us to give up everything also promises that “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for my namesake will receive a hundred” in heaven.

Let’s count the cost, see the beauty of Jesus, and follow Him.

 

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Comments
  1. […] were encouraged by it. If you would like to review that you can see the intro, part 1, part 2, and part 3 before […]

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