The Cost of Discipleship
20 September 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 12:20-36 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. 26 Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. (John 12:25-26 NLT)
Hard words from Jesus here, friends! We’re soon coming up to John chapter 13 and John’s account of the Last Supper. Then we’ve got John 14 “Jesus is the Way” and John 15 “The Vine and the Branches” and John 16 “The Holy Spirit” and John 17 “Jesus’ Prayer” ahead before the arrest and trial and crucifixion begins in John 18. But before any of that we’ve got to finish John 12! Some of this is hard stuff! It’s hard to read and process and even harder to put into practice every day! But these next couple of days we’re going to be addressing some of the key realities of what it means to follow Jesus! So buckle up and let’s go!
Loving and Losing and Caring Nothing and Keeping for Eternity. Loving our lives in this world: Living Self-centered, What’s in it for me?, I have my rights!, You’re on your own!, lives means you’d better make it good, because that’s all you’ve got! Caring Nothing for Your Life in This World: Doesn’t mean living joyless, meaningless lives and being so miserable that we want to die. It doesn’t mean not taking care of ourselves and our responsibilities and those who depend on us. It means that we are so much more focused on Jesus and his eternal kingdom than on our stuff. It means that we’re willing to make sacrifices here and now for the privilege of living and loving like Jesus, for opening our hearts and our lives to others, and for opening our minds and our understanding to what matters most.
And then Jesus said, “All those who want to be my disciples must come and follow me.” Jesus told Nicodemus (John 3:16-17) that God loves the world! His disciples, and pretty much everyone else in Israel thought that God loves the Jews (and hates everyone else), but Jesus is stretching their perception again. Anyone. Whoever. That included the Greeks that Philip and Andrew had just introduced to him. And all the other sincere seekers then and now who “want to meet Jesus.” To the religious and un-religious alike, the invitation is given, the door is open. Follow me, because my servants must be where I am! Here we are, Jesus! This is us, following you!
Father, This isn’t going to be easy! We’re going to need a lot of help down here! Amen!