September 7, 2007

Costly Discipleship

Scripture Reading — Matthew 19:16-30

“Sell your possessions and give to the poor ... Then, come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21


The ambitious young man seems a good candidate for discipleship. He has everything going for him: lots of energy to do things for Jesus, youthful charisma for attracting people, plenty of disposable income to help Jesus and others. And Jesus wants to give him what he craves: eternal life. But Jesus goes out of his way to teach this potential disciple that eternal life is more than satisfying a checklist. Jesus wants the man to experience real life that is deep and eternal.

So Jesus probes deep inside the young man's heart. Jesus knows he struggles with materialism, status, and obedience, so he invites him to take three simple actions to gain life that will truly last. First, the man should sell the possessions that imprison him. Second, he should give the proceeds to people who could not give him anything back. Third, he should come and follow Jesus.

But the young man could not cross the discipleship line with Jesus. He went away disappointed because he did not want to give up his wealth for the Jesus life. Jesus did not make following him easy and user-friendly.

What prevents you from following Jesus today? How is your present life like that of the rich young man? What areas of your life are taking possession of you? Think about Jesus' words: "With man this [kind of life] is impossible, but with God all things are possible."


<p>Dear Jesus, break the chains that prevent my heart from following you. In your strength, help me to put aside anything that distracts me from you. </p><p>In your name, Lord, Amen.</p>


Devotion topics: Christianity, Discipleship