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Jesus calls us to follow him without compromise, reordering all our relationships.

Luke 9:43b-50

While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, 44 “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.

46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”

49 “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”

50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”

Cross, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Daily Devotion, Follow Me

The biggest thing that stood out to me while reading this passage was how wise Jesus is and how disciples aren’t with it. I remember listening to a sermon once where the preacher recommended to read the disciples words in the Bible in a very dopey, cartoonish voice. The disciples simply didn’t understand who Jesus was and what he came to do. And Jesus was frustrated by this. He even calls them ‘an unbelieving and perverse generation’ (v.41). The disciples were even arguing amongst themselves who is the greatest.

Whilst we all love to point out the faults of the people in the Bible, I have (and hate) to admit that I’m very much like that myself. One of the major differences between me and the disciples though is that I know what Jesus has done for me, whereas the disciples haven’t seen Jesus’ death and resurrection yet. Knowing what I know, I still have moments when I drift from God. At times, I tend to compromise my relationship with God, putting him in a box and content for him to only have bits and pieces of my life instead of all of it.

Jesus states several times in this chapter that there is a cost to following him. It requires letting go of everything that may be holding you back (v.59-60). It means willing to be last in order to put God first (v.48). It involves sacrificing your life for his glory. As Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives, ‘not my will, but your will be done’ (Luke 22:42).

Unlike Jesus, everyone else is dropping out of the journey before its even begun. It’s very similar to the parable of the sower (Luke 8:1-15). The seed is God’s word and on most of the ground it fails to produce a good crop. But if we listen to the word and follow Jesus with everything we have, then we will produce a good crop. This good crop is the result of following Jesus. It requires giving up everything, recognizing that Jesus is Lord and following him.

Head: Despite all they have seen, why do you think the disciples were unable to grasp Jesus’ destiny?

Heart: How do we need to change our definition of greatness to how Jesus defines it? What might a great week in your life look like- according to Jesus?

Hands: What steps do you need to take to follow Jesus better?

Prayer: Heavenly father, thank you for giving us a leader worth following in Jesus. Thank you for his death and resurrection. We’re sorry for the times when we turn away from you and follow our own sinful hearts and desires. Please help us to lead our hearts toward Jesus and to follow his ways all the time. Amen.

A song to listen to: Lead me to the Cross

Mick Lather

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