Jesus is not an easy man to follow. Despite what televangelists might tell you, following Jesus is not necessarily the path to a stress-free life with good health and great amounts of material possessions. Actually, it can be quite the opposite. Jesus said, “Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38). Jesus carried a cross and died hanging from it. Doesn’t sound like a promise of good health to me. A rich young ruler asked Jesus how he might inherit eternal life, and Jesus told him to sell all of his possessions and follow Him (Luke 18:18,22). Definitely not a way to get wealthy.
Why then should we follow this man named Jesus? Surely there’s an easier way. So many of us construct our own belief system. We pick the features we like from different religions, and we form our own that gives us warm fuzzies. It helps us to sleep at night, comfortable thinking all paths lead to God. There is a more difficult path called Jesus, which is narrow, broken and rocky.
Being a follower of Jesus was never meant to be easy, but it isn’t a path that is walked alone. God became man and dwelt among us so that He could understand what we face on a daily basis and help us overcome what we ourselves cannot. As it says in Hebrews 4:15, “We do not have a high priest that is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way, just as we are.”
The love that Jesus bestows on those who follow Him is a radical, holy and dangerous love. He loves us like a bridegroom loves a bride. In the end, it is this wild love that draws me to this man named Jesus, despite the long and hard road I must take to follow Him.
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