Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Test of Discipleship

    "And as they were going along the road, someone said to Him, 'I will follow You wherever You go.' And Jesus said to him, 'The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.' And He said to another, 'Follow Me.' But he said, 'Permit me first to go and bury my father.' But He said to Him, 'Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.' And another also said, 'I will follow You, Lord, but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.' But Jesus said to him, 'No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.'" (Lk. 9:57-62)

     My brother called my attention back to some of the more radical passages of Scripture this week. Having to reprocess many of the passages that set me on my journey two years ago has really been a convicting few days, and my poor brother has had to put up with a lot of "I don't know's" and "I had never thought of that"'s. (Thanks, Corey. :)

     Christian has become such an over-used term I avoid calling myself by that name now and try to use the term "follower of Christ"... but no one term has ever caused me to feel as hypocritical as that one does. Really, Taylor? Are you a follower of Christ? A devotee, a disciple, a follower of Jesus? Because if I am, then I should be able to go back and retrace the Jesus of the gospels and see His life in mine, right?

     If I'm honest, you can't. What sense of life change is there in me that sets me apart as someone living for another kingdom? What part of my life tells those in contact with me that I am different, that I am not another teenager fighting to the top of my sport but a disciple of Jesus Christ with a calling that transcends this world? The real question... am I really what I say I am?

     I know salvation is by grace alone through faith, and my failures are washed away in the blood of Christ and that I am raised in new life in Him... but new life for a purpose. New life to speak forth and point to Jesus Christ and to present Him and His love in every avenue of my life. Can I honestly say that I am a follower of Jesus Christ? I have to say that, at this moment, no, I cannot. At best, I am following from afar.

     "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and contemplate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all His possessions." (Lk. 14:26-28, 31, 33)

     If part of Jesus' gospel presentation was a warning to count the cost, I think it can safely be said that following Jesus without personal cost then is not actually following Jesus. I don't say that to take a slap at evangelicals at large today; I say this as a rebuke to myself as much as to anyone. If my life has no trace of cost for the sake of Christ, I have no business saying that I am following Jesus since Jesus' call to discipleship inevitably was joined to a warning of the cost or a call to the radical.

     I'm trying to slowly return my life toward trying to follow after Jesus, being a disciple of His. Not a Christian, but a follower of Jesus Christ. Please pray for me as I'm kinda lost as to what to do. But it's a good kind of lost. :)

   

2 comments:

  1. You got it man, praying for you Taylor

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