But Jesus didn't allow for any of that. He isn't interested in being people's savior without being their Lord. He'll only accept people as His when they are willing to make the greatest sacrifices.
- Jesus said we have to "hate" our family and friends.
- Jesus said we have to surrender our possessions.
- Jesus said we have to give up on selfish ambition.
- Jesus said we have to stop looking for ways to promote ourselves.
- Jesus said we need to sacrifice ourselves for others.
- Jesus said we need to accept homelessness, rejection, persecution and death.
- And Jesus said that if we ignore any of these, then we cannot be his disciple. We cannot truthfully call him Lord.
Jesus requires these difficult requirements because in this world it is easy to get distracted by the things that will cause the world to implode. To love wealth is to destroy others. To have the destruction of innocent people as a tool is your belt is evil. To see other people as less than human undermines the world. To be so loyal to family or friends to stand with them as they do wrong is to do wrong. To get ahead by any means possible is the destruction of the weak. To be with Jesus is to be against all of these.
Following Jesus isn't pretty. It requires tough minds, tough wills and tough decisions.
However, once we have committed to Jesus as Lord, we need to see how we can best follow him by the power of the Holy Spirit. We can't make a firm step in any of these areas without the Spirit. But with God's power, we can do all this and more.