The call of a disciple of Jesus is simple. It boils down to the two words Jesus spoke when calling His original disciples: “Follow me.” To follow Jesus is to look like He looks, to do the things He would do, and to see others the way He sees them. There isn’t a massive playbook we need to learn. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
The learning curve is small, we just follow Him. That’s it! And yet so many miss the simplicity of it all. Throughout the centuries, spiritual leaders and churches have been adding on to the simplest of all requirements. There is no “follow Jesus and…”, there is only walking in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior.
In His song, “Praise the Lord”, David Crowder sings, “I think that when we get to Heaven / We’re gonna laugh when we see / How hard we try to make it / And how easy it should be”. Being a disciple of Jesus is simple and at the same time difficult. It is simple because we only need to follow Jesus. The hard part comes in when we recognize what that means.
Jesus teaches us to own nothing but Him. This doesn’t always mean we need to sell or give away all our possessions, but it might. It does mean we see everything else in our lives as useless garbage. Nothing compares to the beauty and glory of God. All the beauty on earth is but a reflection of Him. It’s not beauty in the truest sense. Only Jesus is.
We hold our friends and family dear. Jesus taught our love for them must look like hate compared to our love for Him (Luke 14:26). It’s not about treating those closest to us badly, it’s about loving Jesus with such an intensity that everything else pales desperately by comparison. This is what it means to follow Jesus. It is the call for every disciple of Jesus.
Most of us don’t really want to follow Jesus. We like the idea of it, but walking in the footsteps of Jesus means giving up everything for which we have worked. If we’re honest, we feel as if we deserve those things. Life is hard, and we have worked even harder to get ahead. Surrendering what we hold most precious will be too much for most. And so, we will turn away, just as the crowds did when Jesus’s teaching became too difficult (John 6:66).
I don’t want that to be my story. I pray it won’t be yours. To follow Jesus, we must surrender everything. Our belongings, our passions, and our thought processes all belong to Him. We can hold nothing back. When we give everything to Him, we get Jesus Himself in return. We get the awesome Creator of the universe. All the love, peace, grace, and mercy of Jesus now belong to us. Instead of death, we receive life.
Many readers of this blog think they are Christians, but they have yet to surrender everything to Him. They are holding something back. I must look at my own life and admit there are pockets, nooks and crannies, that I still struggle to surrender. But I want to follow Jesus. I am determined to answer His call and be His servant, His witness to all the world. Join me. Leave everything behind. Surrender and follow Jesus.