I just got home from the ShopRite. I try to be careful what I buy, especially tonight since I forgot to put extra cash in my purse. How much is this toothpaste? What size cereal is less expensive? Can I afford to buy an extra pack of yogurt?
But last night I was at the dermatologist. There a spot on my chest that is growing and suspicious-looking. It needs to come off, the doctor told me. Did I ask how much it would cost? Nope. Whatever, just take it off.
You are like that too, right? Some things you look for the best price. Other things, you just buy them because they are so valuable, cost doesn't matter.
Jesus never tried to fool anyone with how difficult it would be to follow Him. The cost was high and He wasn't bashful about getting in their face about it. Like in this conversation:
Then a teacher of the law came to Him and said, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”
I love how The Message puts it in today's language: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.”
Jesus was on a journey. He didn't have a home base. He went from town to town, teaching, healing, serving. He never settled down and got comfortable. Jesus was a focused Man with a Mission. Following Jesus means embracing that life style. When we become His follower, we too need to be ready to pack up and move on. We must not become attached to things, but keep our focus on Him and Heaven. Our journey will not resemble a vacation excursion. Instead it's a hard bloody walk up a hill with a wooden cross on our back.
Then it gets even more difficult:
Another disciple said to Him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
But Jesus told him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
I think, how insensitive is Jesus to this poor man! What the man is really saying is he cannot leave his family until his father is dead. He says he wants to follow Jesus, but just not yet. He has a few things to do first. Important things. Jesus comes back with: there is nothing more important that pursuing spiritual life. Not even family matters.
That's hard, very hard. Not so sure I want in to this deal.
In the end, for me, it is like the spot on my chest. The price doesn't matter. It has to come off, whatever the cost. If I don't do it, it may cost me my life.
Whatever the cost is to follow Jesus, I will do it. To walk away would cost me my life.
Jesus, I confess I still cling to the comforts of this world, the approval of people, the things I can see. Remind me of the reality that I cannot see with these eyes. The eternity that awaits. The truth and grace you bring to my life now that is priceless.
Yes, I will follow You!