Change. Everybody wants change but no one will bring it. Everyone talks about change but when asked to change… they won’t, it scares them.
Now we’re good at changing don’t get me wrong: phones, clothing styles, profile picture, you name it. But we are terrible about making a change towards truth, a change that will reshape our entire lives. We can keep up with minor changes here and there but as soon as a new way of living (one that challenges our current way of living and world view) is brought up, people run and hide.
The change we’re talking about, this change towards truth is the Gospel. The Gospel change reshaped our lives to the image of Christ. Many people unknowingly desire the Gospel. Why do you think we make minor changes so frequently in our day-to-day lives? We are looking for something of value, something to cling onto, something to live for. This is why we are constantly changing: The things we create that we hold onto, that we love, that we live for are all temporary… Jesus is Forever
Romans 6:25 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The things we create will just die, and we will die with them. But the free gift of God is forever! Jesus is Forever! We constantly are in search of hope, of joy, of peace and of love. Hope has a name, Joy has a name, Peace has a name, Love has a name… Jesus. If we know this why do we run from it? It’s clearly communicated that Jesus is the answer; so why aren’t people flocking towards him? It’s because he requires everything you’ve got. He requires you to surrender your all.
“As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
This passage embodies the three main areas we aren’t willing to give up in our lives: Rest, Convenience and the past. The first man did not realize that following Jesus means giving up essentially all types of rest. When we do God’s work we work on His timing. We often don’t have time to be tired mentally and/or physically. The amazing thing about following God though is that he will give us a divine rest, a rest that will say “It is well with my soul.” We have to be willing to give up all rest when following Jesus
The second man seems to have a very logical reason to hold off on committing to Jesus’ ministry…His father is dying! If my dad was dying I would take off time from my ministry without question, so why is this not a good enough reason? First things first, in that day and culture when a family member died you would spend anywhere from a week to a month in mourning over the death and during this time you would make absolutely no public appearance. But Jesus tells him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” This man wanted to serve Jesus when it was convenient for him, but Jesus makes it very clear that the kingdom of God him is much more important than any plans we have prepared. We have to be willing to give up all convenience when following Jesus.
The third man’s situation seems the most applicable us. This man wants to say goodbye to his family before leaving them. Pretty valid reason right? Think again, it’s not good enough. “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” If you are working a plow and look back or look away from your work you completely abandon your responsibilities and risk messing up what’s ahead. So it is with God’s work. We have to keep our eyes on our work, our future, our hope so that we don’t mess up the road ahead. This means leaving the past in the past and focusing on the future. We have to be willing to let go of the past when following Jesus.
All in all the cost of following Jesus is your life. He requires everything of us, a fully surrendered heart. Why you ask? Because he lived, died, and rose again all because he loves you and wants a relationship with you! So my challenge to you is to change a bit of yourself so that you may conform to the image of Christ. The change towards truth is the biggest and best decision we can ever make.