Most people in Jesus sandals would be enamored by the types of crowds that followed him, but Jesus wasn’t. He could see through their facade and into their hearts. He knew not all who followed him really believed. Notice how Jesus talks about fo-followers or fad followers:
“Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:18-23)
Some follow Jesus until the going gets tough or until there is an excuse not to follow. Where Jesus traveled there wasn’t a Holiday Inn or a Sleeper Number beds. In fact, Jesus didn’t know where he would sleep most nights. Also in Jesus day, the pink slip out of any situation would be sickness or death in the family. It may seem like Jesus was insensitive towards the man whose father was dying, but Jesus knew that this man had many excuses.
I’ve seen firsthand how Chad, Africa has chewed up many missionaries. I’ve felt it too. It is a difficult place. You have to deal with isolation, sickness, slowness of ministry, discouragement, and physical and spiritual deserts. It’s the kind of place you choose to live and most choose not to. Few are called. The cost is high. Honestly, there are no easy places on earth. Following Jesus anywhere is difficult.
If you’re truly following Jesus, he will call you to walk on the water sometimes—to trust him so completely that if you take your eyes off him you will sink. (Matthew 14:22-33)
Following Jesus will take you into a broken and hurting world, but will get a front row seat to see how Jesus can mend it.
Following Jesus means worshiping him even when I don’t feel like it. Believe me there are days when that will be tested.
Following Jesus will make you look like a fool sometimes. If your life makes complete sense to unbelievers, then you aren’t really following Jesus.
Following Jesus means others will hold you to a higher standard . Following Jesus will reveal your shortcomings.
Following Jesus demonstrates you acknowledge the great cost Jesus paid for your sin. There is a cost to following Jesus. Jesus knows about cost. The cost may be loss of comfort or all-in commitment. Jesus has his way of separating the crowd from those who were curious, convinced or committed.
Have you considered the cost of following Jesus? What nets do you need to drop in order to cling to Jesus? Nets are anything you cling to other than Christ. Look at your hands, then look at Jesus. Let them go. And follow.