The Cost of Radical Obedience
Verse 57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
We talked yesterday about how God doesn’t want our religious rituals. We have been discussing how important our obedience is to Him, but do we see it as important as He does?
Jesus knew the heart of the people who came to Him saying that they would be His followers. He knew that while they may have good intentions that will not be enough to carry us through the tough times of discipleship. Jesus knew that there were things that would be easy for hopeful followers, but He also knew that the life of a dedicated follower would be less than glamorous.
Jesus understood that He was hated because of who He is. He told His disciples that they would be hated because of Him (John 15:18-19). If we think following Jesus will make us loved by everyone we are sadly mistaken. This is the reason why radical obedience is the way to best live for Him. Only through the most intentional of obedience can we truly show our love for Him and bear His fruit boldly.
Our obedience is showing that He means more to us than the things of this world. That is what revealed the flaw of the would-be followers in our Scripture reading today. Each of them had something that was keeping them from giving full allegiance to Jesus. They had the basic desire to be His followers but they didn’t have the full, all out dedication that is needed.
The level of commitment isn’t something that has changed for us. The same intentionality is needed if we are to abide in Him as He calls us to. There is really no half-way in following Christ, we either are full in His service or not following Him at all.
It is so easy to become entangled in the things of this life that we start losing sight of what we are truly here for. Jesus wanted His followers, and us, to determine just how serious we are about living wholeheartedly for Him. He isn’t telling us that we should abandon our families but He is saying that they shouldn’t come between us and our serving Him. Our lives should reflect the depth of our commitment to Him. There should be no question that we serve Him.
Making It Personal
What gets in the way of your wholehearted service to Him? How hard is it to live for Him when those around you aren’t? If it is easier to live for Him when around others that serve Him, how important is it that you choose close friends who also serve Him wholeheartedly?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever had someone not like you because you love Jesus? Which is more important, people liking us or obeying Jesus? Do you find it hard to obey Jesus if people will make fun of you?
Father, thank You for showing us what true obedience looks like. Please give us the strength live wholeheartedly for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.