What’s stopping us from following Jesus?
We’re not fans, but followers of Jesus.
And this won’t be easy. His life was filled with suffering, finishing in the worst place imaginable: the cross. We may never be physically killed – but following Jesus will mean something similar for us.
‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’ Mark 8:34
But standing in the way of UK Christians following Jesus in this way is something we all long for - comfort.
The Way of Comfort
Comfort is often a good gift from God. But Jesus was able to give up the kind of comfort that served himself for something better – the glory of his heavenly kingdom (Hebrews 12:2).
He made it clear that the Messiah ‘must’ be rejected, killed and only then, be raised to life (Mark 8:31). The pattern was self-sacrifice now and glory later.
When Peter claimed it could be glory now and glory later, Jesus called him Satan (Mark 8:32). And ever since, Satan’s been trying to convince us of the same lie:
That being saved by God’s grace means we don’t have to pursue holiness; that we can enter glory without taking up our cross.
The Way of the Cross
We all want the leafy neighbourhood, money in our pockets and luxury food on the table.
Receive God’s gifts with thanks (1 Timothy 4:3). But we should be careful never to leave the way of the cross, which leads to glory, in pursuit of comfort, whose reward won’t last.
Serve hard. Love sacrificially. Speak boldly. Give generously. Pursue people. If we’re dreaming of comfort, let it be the comfort of being at home with Jesus.
It’ll feel like death. But by losing your life, God’s promises that you’ll certainly find it (Mark 8:35). Both here and in the world to come.