“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Chapter ten of the Book of Matthew paints a tough picture of what it costs to follow Jesus. His disciples were being prepared for what the world would throw at them. Trouble would come from every direction, including family. The key to overcoming it all? Lose your life.
Some have looked at this verse as a call to martyrdom for the sake of assuring your place in Heaven. The radical Muslim may think like that, which is a tragedy, but that is not what Christ is calling us to here. Jesus is referring to our personal comfort on a number of levels, as we have seen in the preceding verses. Are you willing to give that all up? Friendship with the world? Peace with your family? And if push came to shove, would you be willing to lay down your physical life if called to renounce your faith?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: following Christ is not for wimps. This is serious business that brings with it a serious cost in the here and now…but unimaginable rewards in a future that will never end.
If security in this world is at the top of your list, Jesus can’t be.
If acceptance by your friends, co-workers, neighbors and family is at the top of your list, Jesus can’t be.
If avoiding pain, discomfort, confrontation, and rejection is at the top of your list…Jesus can’t be.
Once you make the decision to forsake all of that…to forsake yourself…Jesus essentially says “Voila! Now you have REAL LIFE instead of a weak substitute!” All of a sudden the words of that great old hymn will take on new meaning: “And the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”