If you could ask Jesus to do one thing for you, what would it be?
We’ve moved away from the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount now, into a block of action. Jesus is literally showing people what the Kingdom of God is all about – seeing the broken things of the world put right, healed and restored. Seeing God’s power and authority break through. Seeing large crowds be affected by the miracles they are witnessing. Amazing stuff.
But in the middle comes a bit of a warning. People want in – because they have seen these amazing miracles. They want what Jesus can do for them. But are they really ready to follow him through hardship as well as for the good times?
A teacher of the law came up to Jesus and made a rash promise to follow him wherever he goes. Jesus replies to say “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head”. Jesus is travelling around at this point, so he probably was sleeping rough. No five star hotels for him. Following Jesus would mean taking a dent in lifestyle and comfort. Christians are encouraged to give at least a tenth of their income away – obviously if you do that, you’re not going to be able to buy everything you want to be able to unless you earn some serious gold. Is that something we’re ready to do – are we ready to make that sacrifice?
A second man comes up to him and says, “first let me go and bury my father.” It’s fairly unlikely that his father was dead at this point, so Jesus isn’t stopping him from grieving and mourning or anything, but it was more a sort of “I want to follow you, but only once this particular thing is no longer in my life. Only when it’s convenient.”
Jesus wants us – all of us – as we choose to follow him. He’s not interested in just a bit of us following him. It’s not about comfort or convenience – sometimes being a Christian might be uncomfortable or inconvenient. But it is so worth it!
Lord God, help us as we try to follow you. Help us overcome what stands in the way, whether fear of the unknown, lack of comfort or general convenience. Help us to be bold and follow you with all that we are. Amen
Have a listen to this song “With all I am”.