The Recruitment Pitch?
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24
Jesus clearly did not take Marketing 101! It just doesn’t make sense. The same one who said that he came to rescue all people for eternity now makes an individual appeal to those same people by saying they would have to give up all their personal rights and be subject to his leading, which by the way, would involve a considerable amount of discomfort. Seems like a disastrous plan to get people to buy in to his movement. But that is just the point, Jesus isn’t concerned about convincing human beings to “buy in” to what he was doing. His concern was not to flatter people into following him. No, he was inviting people to be a part of what they needed most. Jesus was interested in confronting us with divine truth.
Sometimes people want to bargain with Jesus. They may not say it in so many words, but their attitude is, “Lord, I will follow you if you give me the kind of life I want.” That thinking, however, is something Jesus never tolerated. We don’t come to him on our terms. Instead, we surrender our rights because we believe the Truth about life, death and eternity are all found in Christ.
Jesus was interested in confronting us with divine truth.
When people asked about becoming one of his disciples, Jesus always encouraged them to consider seriously what they were getting into and their expectations. He never promised a joyride of pleasant experiences. Instead, he offered a realistic picture of following God in a sin broken world. An easy life? No. A never-ending adventure? Absolutely!
Dear Jesus, by your living, dying, and rising you have changed the world. You have changed me. Send your Holy Spirit to continue to change my sin and selfishness to service. And with your guidance let me change the world. Help me to be committed enough and strong enough, patient enough and wise enough, compassionate enough and forgiving enough to do something good for others—only because of what you have done for me.