Many want to follow Jesus into the Kingdom of Heaven, but they don’t want to follow Him through the Valley of the Shadow of Death; they don’t want to follow Him into the Garden of Gethsemane; they don’t want to follow Him down the Via Dolorosa up to Calvary and onto the cross.
However, the one who follows Jesus Christ must share in His sufferings. (1 Peter 4:1-19)
You see, when Jesus calls out to you: ”Come, follow Me”, He is saying this:
“Follow Me in self-denial.
Follow Me in doing only the will of the Father.
Follow Me in saying only what the Father tells Me to say.
Follow Me in humility.
Follow Me in patience.
Follow Me in loving my enemies.
Follow Me in forgiving those who don’t deserve it.
Follow Me in preaching the truth even when people will hate you because of it.
Follow Me in faith.
Follow Me in absolute surrender.”
However, nobody wants to deny themselves pleasure or comfort.
Nobody wants to struggle or suffer.
Nobody wants to do the will of the Father when it conflicts with their own will.
Nobody wants to be hated.
Nobody wants to forgive their enemies.
Nobody wants to give up their rights to do what they want, or say what they want.
So, after counting the cost; after seeing what it takes to be a disciple, they decide that the sacrifice is not worth the reward, and like the rich young ruler, they walk away sad because they would not pay the price to inherit eternal life— they would not surrender all to follow Jesus Christ.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.“~ Matthew 16:24
Repent Believe Persevere