If you follow Jesus, be prepared for continuing education. Jesus never stops working with his followers to align their attitudes and behavior with his.
When Jesus’ disciples thought the Lord was too important to bless children, he said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs” (Luke 18.16).
When the rich ruler turn away from following Jesus, because the demand was too much, Peter had this conversation with Jesus.
— Luke 18.28-30 – Then Peter said, “Look, we have left our homes and followed you.”
“And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,
“Who will not get back very much more in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
What’s in it for me?
Public speakers are encouraged to include in their message an answer to the question, “What’s in it for me?”
If we want our audience to listen to our words, we must “hook” their interest with some measure of self-interest.
Peter was the spokesman for disciples, both then and now.
The rich ruler wasn’t willing to place Jesus above his possessions and status. Peter and the other disciples had left their families and work to follow Jesus through Galilee and to Jerusalem.
Jesus assured his followers that there is no lack of reward to those who are willing to travel life with him.
As you look back on your life, you can think about some of the benefits of following Jesus.
— Forgiveness of guilt and sin
— Friendship with Jesus Christ
— Freedom from addictions
— Fellowship with other Christians
— The wisdom of God’s word
Jesus gives his followers the best life possible, then, in addition, he adds eternal life.
Jesus’ Continuing Education Project
One fallacy of the “what’s in it for me?” mentality is the issue of suffering. The person who includes suffering in their “all I want to be and have” world is unique.
Jesus wants his followers to continually adjust their behavior to imitate his, even when suffering and rejection are involved.
— Luke 18.31-33 – Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.
“For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon.
“After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.”
If we are going to live a Jesus-kind-of-life, we must recognize that some form of rejection and suffering is part of life.
We don’t have to go looking for trouble, but as we serve Jesus it will more than likely find us.
All of us begin our program of discipleship with much to learn. The disciples are a good example for us, who feel that we should make more progress than has taken place.
–– Luke 18.34 – But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.
I have to admit that there are portions of Scripture that I don’t want to read or accept. They don’t confirm my worldview.
There was a time when I had to tell the Lord, “I don’t understand this and I don’t want to believe it. However, I am going to accept what is in your word just the same.”
A willingness to see things Jesus’ way will allow us to understand his message and get in alignment with his will.
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage in today’s YouTube video on the Bob Spradling channel. You will be blessed to hear Rudy’s insights into this passage.
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