Following Jesus is All or Nothing
Have you ever heard the phrase “it’s all or nothing”? I think people say that line when the commitment in front of them has to be a total commitment. You want to go skydiving? Well . . . I think you’re crazy. But there’s no question that a total commitment to the activity is required when you’re thousands of feet up in a plane. You can either jump or not jump. It’s all or nothing. I’m not sure how my wife will feel about me putting this in the same paragraph as skydiving, but marriage is also a total commitment. I know very well how my wife would feel if it wasn’t. Sure love, I’ll be faithful to you most of the time, but Tuesdays and Fridays I want to date other women. That’s okay right? HA! Yes, this is another one of those cases where it’s all or nothing.
I would also argue that following Jesus is another example of this. Listen to what He says: “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). And also: “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37-38). If we are going to follow Jesus on HIS terms (not ours) then I think the kind of commitment He expects is obvious. Jesus wants us to commit all. Jesus wants us to put the Father’s mission over EVERYTHING. And, if I’m going to be blunt, I think that Jesus would tell those who were only interested in committing partially to keep on moving. Discipleship is not for you. (Which is similar to what my wife would have said if while proposing I said, “Raeanne, I promise to be faithful to you every day except Tuesday and Friday.” “Umm, Doug, I don’t think marriage is for you . . .”)
What kind of commitment do you have to Christ? What have you joyfully placed at His feet? Submitting to Him should be a joy. Think about what He has done for you! Think about what is promised to those on Earth who commit all to God! There is no better choice than to take up your cross and follow Jesus. There is no better value. Compared to what Jesus is preparing for those who love him what you’re giving up is of little value. Paul considered all things “rubbish” (Phil. 3:8) compared to gaining Christ. Do you? It’s all or nothing.