Following Jesus - Being a Disciple

Jesus commands us to take up our cross and follow him as his disciple. And he says his yoke is easy, and his burden is light. Jesus tells us we must give up our life and lose it, and he tells us he has come so that we might have life to the full. Are you confused?


What does it take to be a disciple of Jesus? Our answer is often given in fractions. Jesus, you can have 10% of my income; one day in seven is yours. I’ll attend a small group one night per week. But the rest is mine.


C S Lewis likens this to a good citizen paying taxes. We give what we owe, hoping we have enough left over to live off and maybe even spoil ourselves from time to time. We have paid our dues to the higher order, and now free of that obligation, we can express our inner self and flourish.


The problem is that Jesus does not ask for part of our money, time, or energy. He says I want you! All of you.


It turns out that being a disciple of Jesus is both harder and easier than we think. It is harder because we have to give everything. It is as costly as giving ten-tenths. It is more painful than pulling out established weeds or cutting off dead branches. That inner self must die.


Yet when we entrust our entire selves to Jesus, he gives us more back, and the Christian life becomes easier than we think. Jesus reshapes our values, our desires, and our motives. His Spirit works within us so we can love God with our heart, mind, soul and strength.


Do you find it hard following Jesus? If so, the problem might be that you are trying to give Jesus a fraction instead of everything.


By Rev. David Rietveld


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