The last few weeks have been an introspect on what a true Christian life, truly following Jesus, means. And in my thoughts it comes down to one simple yet imposing question:
Am I willing to literally drop everything on the spot to follow Jesus?
My quick and simple answer is yes.
It’s a gut reaction for me to say yes. There’s no hemming or hawing. No further thought required. I want to follow Jesus no matter the cost.
But I know, after giving it thought, that this may not be entirely true. I want it to be true more than anything, but I realize that it may be conditional.
What do I mean by these things?
Well, first I spent so much time thinking about what it meant to follow Christ. And what it cost. And every time I think about it, I come to the story of the disciples, or as my friend Kevin calls them, the twelve knuckleheads that followed Christ. And I think most about Peter. When Jesus said to Peter to follow Him and He will make him a fisher of men, he didn’t just say c’mon. He gave Peter so much. Peter, fishing for so long and catching nothing was told to cast his nets once more, and given so many fish it rips his nets. And when Jesus told Peter to follow him, The Bible says Peter forsook all and did so.
Forsook: abandon. Renounce or give up.
All: the whole amount, quantity, or extent of. Every member or individual component of. EVERY.
Peter forsook all. Gave it slap up right there. As in he didn’t take some of the fish he caught with him. He didn’t go home and pack a bag. He didn’t wait for someone else to come with him. He literally forsook, abandoned, gave up everything, meaning anything that was not Jesus, and left it behind to follow this man.
Like 14:33 says “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
There’s that word again, forsake.
So what does all really mean? For Peter it started with the fish. And it included his job of fishing, his family, friends, possessions, and eventually his life on Earth.
Kevin and I, my friend from earlier, have planned a camping trip for our kids. I have joked for most of my life that I don’t camp. God gave us indoor plumbing and central heating and air for a reason. I’ve also joked recently that I’m tired of working so hard and that they make really nice boxes for refrigerators that I could sleep in instead of paying for rent. I joke, and think I’m serious. But as it started to cool down outside I decided to try to cut the air off to my house and lower my power bill. That didn’t last a day.
Which made me think. And I thought would I really be willing to give up literally everything for Christ?
In the Bible Jesus tells a rich man to sell everything he owns and give it to the poor and he will have riches in heaven. And that rich man leaves upset. His wealth and comfort were too desirable. And I can see the difficulty. Giving up everything is a lot to ask.
There’s another story. The rich people giving their percentage, yet the poor woman giving two coins, but it’s all she had. They gave more physically, but she gave more than they because all is the most you can give.
So the question still stands. Am I willing to literally drop everything on the spot to follow Jesus?