Following Jesus has a cost! I’ll bet reading those words didn’t trigger joy in your heart. Perhaps they left you thinking – “Wow, that’s a downer.” Maybe they filled you with a sense of dread or fear. We don’t like to think about our faith journey requiring sacrifice. We’d rather think about how it can benefit us: forgiveness of sin, answers to prayer, eternal life and such. But the truth is—following Jesus comes with a cost.
Simon and Andrew were fishing when Jesus saw them and said, “Come, follow Me.” They immediately left their nets and followed Christ (Matthew 4:18-20). James and John were sitting in their fishing boats, mending their nets with their father when Jesus called to them. “They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind” (Matthew 4:21-22). For these men, following Jesus meant sacrificing their livelihood (sense of security) and family togetherness. In the latter case, leaving Dad behind may have resulted in misunderstanding. Maybe Dad felt as though his sons had abandoned him in lieu of a religious fanatic.
In 1993, Jesus said, “Follow Me.” For me that meant leaving my home town, family, friends, and heading to Bible College. Twenty three years later I have come to a new town, with my own family, and I’m making new friends. However, following Jesus did cost me along the way.
Yes, following Jesus comes with a cost. But I don’t write from my personal experience to flaunt anything. Rather, I want you to know while sacrifice isn’t easy, it’s the least we can do for Jesus and building His kingdom on earth. After all, didn’t He sacrifice His life on our behalf? How then can we withhold anything from Him who gave everything for us? It’s in our willingness to sacrifice for Christ’s sake that we find joy.
The seed must fall into the ground and die to bring forth life and a harvest. Our goal at South Side is to create opportunities for spiritual growth. At the same time, I let people know that will require sacrifices. In what ways might following Jesus exact a sacrifice from you? Are you willing to make that sacrifice? Are you willing to make it joyfully? This Sunday at South Side at 10:45 we will take a look at our last sermon in our “Following Jesus” sermon series. I hope you sacrifice a little time and come out, worship, get in the word of God, and grow with us!
South Side Church of Christ