|Posted by kelvinbueckert on June 30, 2019 at 2:30 PM|
Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem. They were hungry, so sent on ahead for preparations to be made for a meal. We read that the group was not welcome in that particular village. Usually Jesus’ reputation as a preacher and healer preceded Him, making a certain wave of fame welcoming. When their request was refused James and John, His most bombastic followers wanted revenge. “Shall we call down fire from heaven?” (:54). Jesus gently rebuked them, and they moved on.
As usual, Jesus used this circumstance to teach His followers an important lesson. They needed to understand that as His disciples they would not be welcome everywhere. They would not have wealth and possessions that often commanded respect and honour because He, “the Son of Man” owned no place where He could lay His head (:58).
Their little group drew the attention of people who were curious, one of whom offered to follow Him. Jesus, knowing how fickle the human heart can be pointed out the principle of poverty, which might govern the lifestyle of His followers. “Follow me” Jesus called to another man. Was he casual or curious about, or interested in committing to Jesus? Hearing and perhaps fearing Jesus’ call, the crowd thinned. They remembered responsibilities that demanded attention before they could assume a place among His disciples. One had to go and bury his father (:59). Another needed to go to say good-bye to his family (:61). Were these valid excuses?
When Jesus called Peter and Andrew they were engaged in their fishing industry, but immediately left their boats, nets and father, to follow Jesus. For them there was no turning back. They were not committed because it was popular. They were men of loyal spirit, dedicating heart and soul to God. James and John were challenged by the reminder they would suffer in the service of Jesus. Who takes on a job like that? True followers.
This demands the question – what is a Christian? There are more questions. Is a Christian one who knows about Jesus? …or is a Christian one who knows Jesus? I know about the Queen of England, but she wouldn’t know me if we met. Does Jesus know you? What is it about Jesus Christ that draws our loyalty, our love?
Is heaven the main goal of a Christian? Where does pleasing God enter the picture? Does it involve counting the cost? How is my Christianity reflected in my lifestyle? How does the Bible describe a Christian? We are new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). God has given us the Holy Spirit to empower us to do His will. David wrote “Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).