When Jesus says to Simon and Andrew, “Come, follow me,” immediately they left their vocation as fishermen and follow him. When he called James and John, they left behind their father and friends, right there in the boat. We know from reading the rest of the Gospels that these men did fish again, and they did continue to relate to their parents. But what Jesus is saying is still disruptive. In traditional cultures you get your identity from your family. And so when Jesus says, “I want priority over your family,” that’s drastic.

In our individualistic culture, on the other hand, saying good-bye to our parents isn’t a big deal because that is a part of growing up, but for Jesus to say, “I want priority over your career”—that’s drastic. Jesus is saying, “Knowing me, loving me, resembling me, serving me must become the supreme passion of your life. Everything else comes second.” In many of our minds, and minds of the world today, such words can smell of fanaticism. We would rather explain away these words of Jesus than to actually believe what it says. The excuses usually sound something like this, “Jesus didn’t really mean that” or “The Bible is an old book, it must be a cultural thing.”

Jesus says, “I want you to follow me so fully, so intensely, so enduring that all other attachments in your life look like hate by comparison.” If you say, “I’ll obey you, Jesus, if my career thrives, if my health is good, if my family is together,” then following Jesus is conditional based upon what is going on in your life. The conditional statement actually reveals who the real master in your life is. Jesus does not want to be a means to an end; he will not be used. If he calls you to follow him, he must be the goal. Jesus has called all Christians to be disciples and to follow after him. Will you answer the call?

I love the questions that Pastor Burcham ends with in the video above. They made me really think about the attachments I have in this life. So, what would be the one thing that would cause you to do a double take if Jesus called you to leave it behind and follow him? Would you still follow if he asked you to leave it behind?

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