We all know people (or have been there ourselves) who were partially committed to something. I see people who are not fully committed at the gym, at the ball field and yes even in the church. And in the same vein, I see people who “go in all the way” in these same settings. Whole hearted commitment is what Jesus is asking of His followers and is the question He poses to us this week!
In Luke 9 we find Jesus asking His disciples who they think He is. Peter responds that Jesus is the Messiah. From there Jesus teaches what it means to follow Him. Self-denial and taking up the cause (cross) of Christ (Luke 9:23) is the first thing Jesus mentions to us in order to be a whole hearted follower.
Jesus other illustrations cause us to wince some though! He tells the “wannbe” followers seemingly, not to prioritize their family over following Him. In actuality, He is addressing the customs and language of the time when one potential follower asks to bury his family and another speaks of going home for a while. I quickly add here that the Biblical perspective is that if we love God we will love our family. Jesus is addressing the excuses of these inquiring and saying to them if God is supreme in their lives, then family issues will fall into place. The ancient Jews, like us today, have a high regard for family responsibility. Jesus was once again addressing their half-hearted hesitancy in committing to Him and not validating their excuses. This will make for a good discussion Sunday as we all understand the historical and cultural background and discuss applications for today.
Things to Ponder:
Is Jesus supreme in your life?
What excuses keep you from being a whole-hearted follower?
What 2-3 things do you need to do to get beyond your excuses and be a whole-hearted follower?
Why does Jesus say “take up our cross daily“?
We are only a prayer away from being all that Jesus wants us to be.