As a disciple of Jesus, do I willingly risk my security to faithfully follow Him?
Read Matthew 10:18-22, 29-39
Jesus said some hard things…very hard things. Just look at these verses from Matthew 10, and you’ll see just how hard His words are.
He is sending out His disciples and promising them hardship, opposition, arrest, judgment, rejection, betrayal, loss, and death. Some will come from authorities, or their community, but also from those closest to them—their siblings, parents, children.
This is what being a disciple will look like, He tells us.
Right now, you’re probably wondering if this is what you signed up for when you chose to follow Jesus? Maybe not.
We often forget or ignore the fact that following Jesus is going to be hard. It will take sacrifice, discomfort, risk. It may put our dearest relationships to the breaking point.
A young woman in Indonesia walks this path. Kaya’s family are animists, worshiping gods of rock and stone. But she learned about Jesus, and decided to follow Him, and was baptized. When her father found out, he forbid her to go to the church, to be part of the Global Disciples discipleship training, and even threatened to kill her. But Kaya chose to be faithful and follow Jesus.
It’s not that she doesn’t love or honor her family, but that she loves and honors Jesus more. In fact, her love for her family compels her to pray for them, and to believe that one day they too will know and follow Jesus.
Disciples like Kaya, all over the world, have stories about the risks they’ve had to take to faithfully follow Jesus. They know the realities of physical hardship, economic discrimination, violence, ostracism from family or their community. They know the pain of rejection, the loss of friends, the lack of respect or honor.
However, it’s what Jesus tells us to expect when we follow Him as His disciple.
Yes, there are rewards; there is the strong, sure presence of the Holy Spirit with us in our trials (10:20). The recognition by Jesus before God the Father that we belong to Him (10:32), and the confidence we have through Christ that keeps us from fear (10:29-31).
So, as a disciple of Jesus, do you willingly risk your security to faithfully follow Him? It’s a hard question, an uncomfortable proposition. Yet the Spirit of God gives us both power and confidence when we step into risk-taking obedience and faithfully follow Him.
Consider this: Is there something that holds you back from living as Jesus’ disciple in different aspects of your life? Is it a fear of criticism, ridicule, opposition? Or because you’re not sure what He’ll ask you to do? Ask Him to give you grace as you lean into His promises (Matthew 10:29-32,39).
Prayer: Jesus, I want to follow you, to be your disciple but you have said it will be hard. Help me to be more willing to obey than to hold to my comforts, my security, my own way. Show me the path of joy, the promise of your presence, no matter what road you lead me on. Holy Spirit, give me peace and courage in the face of any opposition. Thank you for your loving strength and daily power in my life. Amen.
–Barbara Gerhart, Global Disciples