The Cost of Following Christ
Today’s reading: II Samuel 4-6; Luke 18:18-43
29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to 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, 30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18:29-30
16 As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart. II Samuel 6:16
The one who would follow Christ must be prepared to lose everything, even the most precious relationships in this world.
Jesus’ encounter with a rich ruler led to an insightful exchange between Peter and Jesus. The ruler was obviously put off by Jesus’ command that he sell all that he had and follow Him. Peter reflected on the reality that he and his fellow disciples had left all to follow Christ. Jesus promises him and them that everyone who leaves his house and family for the kingdom of God would receive many times more in this world and then eternal life in the next age.
David, too, knew that cost of obeying God over pleasing his wife. Michal, who grew up in Saul’s household, must have imbibed some of her father’s disregard for God’s commands. When David began to worship God publically, she found his enthusiasm disgusting. She ridiculed David, but David did not waver in his commitment to serve God and give due honor to the One to whom he owed his life and his throne.
Sometimes faithfulness to Christ comes down to a permanent rift with close family members. Have you determined to sell all and go follow Jesus? Do not make the fatal error of the rich ruler who could not part with his stuff in order to gain eternal life. In the words of the old gospel song:
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand
Refrain: Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything,
This world affords today.