“It’s very annoying following this person of Christ around because he’s very demanding of your life.”
What I loved about his interview was that it was so refreshingly candid and honest, something you might only encounter when it emerges from the inner recesses of your heart. The line quoted above was one of the points that really resonated with me because you just don’t hear this from your average pastor. If I ever have the chance to preach, this might be a theme I would like to explore, it’s something I have personally wrestled with for many years- Jesus is more than a safe teacher, he calls us to do hard things.
I’m glad that I am not the only one who has encountered this. All throughout the gospel accounts we read how Jesus called people to get out of their present comfort zones. He tells the fishermen by the sea to leave the family business and follow him. He tells the rich, young ruler to sell what he has and give it to the poor. He tells Nicodemus to be born again, and for his followers to forgive lavishly.
Following Jesus will not bring you gold and it will not help you become a better you. My apologies to a certain ever-smiling televangelist, but being a better you is just not what Jesus wants. He wants you to follow him.
When we follow Jesus, we will begin to see how broken we are and how badly we need his redemption. Even when I think I have my act together, I am humbled and made aware of my own failures and faults. As CS Lewis would say, “When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that’s left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less.“
Dear readers, when it gets annoying to follow Jesus, press onward. Jesus does speak hard words and following the Messiah will be a tough road at times. But all I can say sometimes in those valleys I need to use the words of his disciples in John, “Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We’ve already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God.”
How do you handle the demands of discipleship?