THIS WEEK’S THEME: Whoever serves me must follow
DEVOTIONAL: Numerous times throughout the Gospels we hear Jesus command those who desire to serve him to “Follow me.” Usually this command is given to someone in a situation where leaving and following Jesus will cost them something. Sometimes it was a monetary cost, like the rich ruler in John 18:18-25. Sometimes it was at the cost of social expectations, as with the teacher of the law who wasn’t allowed to bury his father in Matthew 18:18-22. Often times it meant the cost of leaving their career or manner of livelihood, like it did for Matthew in Matthew 9:9.
I believe Jesus commanded this of his followers because he wanted them to see right away that a life of service to God meant choosing to turn from what they would naturally gravitate towards. Instead they were to turn towards and follow the ways that Jesus taught, ways that would seem contrary to human logic, but ultimately lead to God’s purposes for their lives. For us today, that may mean choosing to spend our disposable income on missions rather than the latest iPod, or to teach in an inner-city school for smaller wages, or giving up time spent doing things like watching DVDs or TV in order to make time to talk with and worship God. For each person this looks different, though ultimately it leads to the same concept: Our lives are in your hands. Another way of saying it could be that our path will follow God’s.