Are You A True Disciple Of Jesus Christ?

Jesus called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits (demons) and to heal every disease and sickness.
. . . These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions…
"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.  
. . . You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
. . . "Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
" 'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law --
a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'
"Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me;
anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. . . . Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. " 
Matthew 10 (NIV)

"Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master.  . . . And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!" Matthew 10:24-25 (NLT). 

This is a rather sobering piece of Scripture. Jesus called His disciples together and sent them out with authority to share the Gospel, drive out demonic spirits and heal the sick. That is very good and exciting news. Having power and authority is exciting! But there is more!

Jesus was talking to His twelve disciples and by extension to those of us who call ourselves disciples or followers of Jesus. Jesus is reminding us that there is a cost to following Him!
Following Jesus involves more than having power to drive out demons and work miracles!

So, What are the costs?

First: We should be prepared to be hated and even physically attacked or killed because of our faith in Jesus. We can lose our lives for the sake of Jesus! I recently saw a video of a large number of Christians being beheaded and it sent shivers down my spine. It is one thing to read about it, but seeing it in that gruesome way left an indelible mark on my spirit.

Second: We should be prepared to have our lives disrupted because Jesus is a "Disrupter." Believing in Jesus means the members of your household could possibly become your enemies! Sons and daughters could turn against their parents.

Third: You must be prepared for possible suffering! You must take up your cross and follow Jesus on a daily basis. This means you must be prepared to die in whatever way might be deemed necessary. The cross signifies death and suffering.

Fourth: You can't love your son, daughter or any other person more than Jesus! The words of Jesus are chilling: "Anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Why? "For God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son to die and save us from our sins." This is the context within which Jesus makes all these radical and audacious demands from us. He set the example before making the demand! Quite sobering!

So, food for thought: Are you a true disciple of Jesus? Do you love anything more than Jesus? Your Lifestyle? Your Money? Your Job, Business, Career or Profession? In the context of what Jesus teaches, I wonder how many Christians can be called authentic followers of Jesus? Can you genuinely be counted as one? Are you a true disciple of Jesus? Pause and reflect over it!

Prayer: Lord, I confess that I fall short of some of the demands that you make of me as your disciple. Please empower me by your Spirit to live as your authentic follower. Amen