Counting The Cost
The religious were so hard-hearted and blind that they didn't recognize Jesus. They looked into his eyes and didn't even see him.
Lord, they looked into your eyes. They heard your voice, how is it that they didn't see you?
I have to wonder, how many times have I looked and not seen? Looking for something or someone else - thinking I am looking for you.
They were sincere. They believed what they believed with their whole heart. They were sure they were right. They were sure of themselves. If they knew who you were, they, the pious, righteous, sold-out pharisees, they would have totally bowed their heads. But.....
The sold-out ones were sold out to a system, a structure, not a person. It was a set of rules that framed their lives. And they were secure in their rules.
The leading priests, scribes, pharisees and teachers of religious law prove that we can be directly in the center of God's will and not recognize it. They show us that leaders are very influential. They have the power to lead many people astray. And no matter how sincere they may be, they could be wrong and they could be the blind leading the blind on a death march.
And I am crying out, "Oh God. Then who can be saved?"
If we know Jesus only from our church experiences, we may not know Jesus at all.
After 18 years of Christianity, I am only now understanding who Jesus is. Over and over I am astounded. His days on this earth were scandalous. I don't know that before this year, before I really took time to know my Savior, if I wouldn't have reacted to him exactly like the Pharisees. I'm pretty sure I would have been in their camp.
I'm telling you this, he is not religious.
It takes courage to follow Jesus.
Peter says, "We've given up everything to follow you."
And I am asking myself, can I do that? Give up everything? Because when he says give up everything he isn't really talking about drinking beer and smoking pot and watching R rated movies. He isn't referring to tattooed friends and immoral relationships. No, these are not what he is getting at all. He's talking about everything we've ever known. He is talking about just walking away from everything that helps us feel secure in this out of control world. He is calling us out to leave all that we hold tight and dear to our hearts, our comfort and our doctrine. He is talking about leaving it all behind and letting the dead bury the dead. Letting go of our security blanket and making ourselves completely vulnerable, losing our lives, to follow him, to see him.
This is scary stuff. These are hard choices. This requires trust. This is faith.
Honestly? I'm not there. I'm still on the fence, counting the cost. It is hard to turn away from the security of the church. I'm scared. Prayers?