What does it mean to follow Jesus today?
I like reflecting upon the early disciples of Jesus. I try to visualize what discipleship was like for them. Hearing Jesus call to follow him. Leaving their jobs, homes, and everything to walk around the countryside.
My ponderings have led me to a realization. Following Jesus today is not the same as when the first disciples followed Jesus. Oh, do not get me wrong, discipleship is discipleship – then and now. The context of discipleship is the difference.
Try this mental exercise (IT IS ONLY AN EXERCISE):
What if you decided to leave your job, your home, and everything to walk around for Jesus? I did not say leave your job and enter the ministry where you are employed, receive a salary, and have a house. I am not even talking about becoming a traveling evangelist where a “love offering” is taken up for your benefit. I am speaking about leaving your employment, the place you live, and all your possessions so you can walk around your city and learn of Jesus.
Try to imagine yourself in the shoes of the early disciples, but today. Such an exercise is quite a thought.
Where would you get food? Unless you are dipping into your savings, how would you buy anything? (Do note: There were followers of Jesus who provided for him and his disciples occasionally.) You must also consider how long your nest egg would hold out, especially if you had traveling companions. Where would you sleep? What would you do? How would you live your life daily? How would it feel to wear the same clothes every day? Where would you bathe?
I am in no way suggesting anyone do this; hence why I emphasized EXERCISE. But I have found reflecting in such a way helps me examine my discipleship. It creates self-awareness to my level of comfort. It enables me to evaluate my dependency upon security. It challenges me.
It also helps me to take risks from time to time. Giving more than I normally would. Telling another person about Jesus when I might would have remained quiet. Participating in a service project.
Reflecting upon discipleship is a great method to grow in discipleship. It can be convicting. It can also be inspiring.
Now…go be a disciple in your context today!