"Now great crowds accompanied him (Jesus), and he turned and said to them, “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. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:25-27 (ESV)
“Wow! Really Jesus?”, is all I could think as I reread this passage over a few times. This opening line to a teaching did for the crowds who followed Him may not be your usual funny story, or anecdote that most pastors start of a message off with on a usual Sunday morning to help grab our attention. No, these words cut to the core of his message. Jesus' message was simple, "Repent of your sins, leave and/or sell everything and everyone you have behind, and follow Him. If you choose to do this, then great will be your reward in heaven!"
So, how many of us have truly embraced this message? Are we truly willing and able to receive this seemingly hard teaching and more importantly follow through with this commitment? Let’s be real with one another. On our own, we cannot do this. We are too weak, soft, uncommitted, sinful, and lazy. That’s why truly following Jesus is a miracle. It’s a miracle when the God of this entire universe, the creator of all things, decided to look down on earth and choose us to be one of His followers. He decided out of His love for us and because He is a gracious God, to give us the opportunity to choose His Son Jesus. He also knew that we would not be able to get very far without His help. So He said, "I’m going to give you help, I’m going to fill you with myself, the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, so that you can walk with me every day and live the life of a radical follower of Jesus Christ".
So, those of us who consider ourselves Christians, do we love Jesus, serve Jesus, honor Jesus … are we willing to give up “everything” for Jesus, just like God the Father, gave up God the Son, Jesus, just for us? Are we willing to read His words and teachings and say, “Yes Jesus, you are not only my Savior, but you are my Lord, and I am your servant, do with me as you will.”
If you are willing, and are filled with the Holy Spirit, then hold on tight! There waits for you an incredible journey filled with blessings, challenges, joy and sorrow, but in the end it will be worth it because Jesus is worth it! If you are not sure, or not willing, then ask Jesus for help. He is willing to help us get to this place and believe me, He will do this, sometimes slowly, but also many times quickly. However, all of this is so that we can experience that radically amazing life that God wants us to experience as followers of Jesus. Then after our hearts change and are ready, we will be able to share with others the incredible life that awaits them, if they put their lives and their trust in Jesus!
Posted on Thu, July 11, 2013
by Sam Petitfils