If you click on http://www.theworldrace.com/, you see a group of people who have left everything behind. Even their sense of normal food as they are being asked to eat things like chicken heads every day. Jesus has them right where he wants them!
Yesterday I introduced the foundations of Jesus’ method of discipling. The first of these is the decision he asks us to make to leave everything behind, to abandon what we hold dear. More on that:
Jesus asks us, “Do you trust me?” And when we answer, “Yes,” he responds by saying, “Then jump off this cliff – I’ll catch you.” That call to jump, to be willing to sacrifice anything to follow Jesus, sounds radical to our sophisticated ears and ever-calculating hearts.
Look at how Jesus defined this principle of abandon:
“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62), “Follow me and let the dead bury their own dead.” (Mathew 8:22), “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24), “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33), “Sell everything you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.” (Luke 18:22)
Jesus asks his disciples to abandon the familiar, even their families. He won’t compete for our affection. The problem is that his disciples of today have far more to abandon than those of past generations. Separation anxiety is something to be wrestled with. The kind of total abandon he required of his disciples is a rare occurrence in our modern world.