Being a disciple is hard work!

A cropped picture of a painting of Jesus calling Matthew by William HoleA few fishermen, a tax collector, and some other unseemly students… the hard work started with the abrupt summons: “Follow me.” They don’t even seem to give it a second thought! Consider what they each gave up to become disciples of Jesus…

Matthew probably gave up a pile of money. (That’s him in the painting, in his tax collector’s “booth”).

The fishermen gave up a rich haul of fish (as told in Luke 5:1-11).

Bartholomew (called Nathanael in John’s gospel) gave up his uncertainty.

James and John, sons of Zebedee, gave up their fishing equipment… and they left behind their father!

What about yourself?

What must you forfeit to follow Jesus?

Discuss these possibilities amongst your family group. Do you give up…

  • Sleep? Most of us don’t get enough sleep; I sure could use a few more zzz’s on Sunday morning.
  • Time? Read the Bible? Pray? They take time! My days are already jam-packed! (And I’d rather play a computer game.)
  • My ego? Because being a disciple places the focus on God and I like things to be about me.
  • My comfort zone? Because I don’t enjoy _______. (Fill in the blank: Hanging out with people I don’t know, or rubbing shoulders with the down-trodden, or opening my wallet.)
  • Dignity? Because I might do this disciple-thing wrong (and what would people say?) And yikes! Every decision I make is an exercise in discipleship!
  • A firm life-path? I want answers and a road map. Following Jesus can be scary! Who knows where I will be led next?
  • Reputation? Because maybe I’ll be laughed at. (You follow Jesus!?)
  • Society’s endless clamor for praise, power, and possessions? There are just so many distractions from Jesus’ calling! This is hard!
What difficult choices are you being called to make?

(Mess up? Me too. It’s okay. You can start to follow again and again!)


Photo credits:
Painting of Jesus calling Matthew, by William Hole, in the Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.