Monday, January 26, 2015

Discipleship's dramatic leavings

"Jesus and the Rich Young Man" by Alexandre Bida
"Jesus and the Rich Young Man" by Alexandre Bida

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Mark 1:14-28

TO CHEW ON: "They immediately left their nets and followed Him …. And they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him." Mark 1:18,20

Here we see Simon (Peter) and Andrew leaving their nets or means of livelihood, James and John their senior partner, all in immediate response to Jesus' " 'Follow Me.' "

Other startling leavings in the Bible:
  • Ruth left her homeland to come back to Israel with her mother-in-law Naomi - Ruth 2:11.
  • Matthew left his tax office to follow Jesus - Luke 2:27,28.
  • Jesus invited the eager young man, who asked about how to inherit eternal life, to divest himself of his possessions and follow Him - Mark 10:21.
  • The Apostle Paul renounced everything to "gain Christ" - Philippians 3:8.

These appear to be huge sacrifices until we look beyond, into how things turned out.
  • Ruth became part of the lineage of King David and eventually Jesus, while her sister-in-law Orpah, who decided to return to Moab, is never heard of again.
  • Andrew & Simon, James and John went from being nobody fishermen to charter members of a new movement.
  • Matthew changed from a despised tax man to a beloved writer of scripture.
  • The rich young man who ignored Jesus call because the cost of giving everything away was too big, also disappeared from the record.

As we go through the final days of this first month of a new year, when we typically take stock of our lives and make plans and goals for the future, could Jesus' invitation to "Follow Me" set in motion similar dramatic leavings in our lives? Leavings of possessions, ambitions, control of time, money, children, leisure...?

Counting the cost may involve considering the consequences of hanging on as much as radical discipleship's leaving-all cost.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, please help me to consider again your "Follow Me" and what it means of things I should leave. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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