[If you have not at least read to intro to this blog series please start there]
“And as He passed by He saw Levi, the son of Alpheaus sitting at the place of toll, and He said to HIim, Follow me. And he rose and followed him.” Mark 2.14
To this day this story often baffles the minds of Christians. Jesus gives a simple call and Levi responds with immediate obedience. There is no debate, no pause, not even a few honest questions, just a simple obedient response to a simple calling. But our own Christian walks rarely resemble Levi’s example.
We have questions, we may step back in moments and re-asses, we may even stop following altogether. But Levi… Levi simply obeys. “It is Jesus who calls, and because it is Jesus, levi follows at once”.
When was the last time we acted like that with Christ? Simply obeying His call. Obeying His command the one simple reason that He commanded it.
This is one of the greatest problems in our Christian world. We still are in charge, we call ourselves Christians but often don’t feel the need to do what Christ asks of us. We don’t want to submit to his school of discipleship but desire to create our own, and still carry the name ‘christian’.
But G_d’s call is out of the known, out of the comfortable, out of the firmiliar. It is no longer our plan. No longer our comfort that is the focus. It is His way only. “No other significance is possible, since Jesus is the only significance.”
We wish to decide the parts of our lives that G_d is allowed into “but then discipleship is no longer discipleship, but a program of our own to be arranged to suit ourselves”. If we truly want to heed the call we must let him into every part of our lives, without question or delay, without excuses or justifications.
The true disciple obeys all that is commanded of him. He does not ask which commands must one obey. “The very devil lurks at this question” for the question is in dire hopes that some commands don’t pertain to us. That somehow we are given a free pass in the some area of our lives.
We have dumbed down the offensive commands of G_d to our comfort levels. We convince ourselves that when G_d tells us to “sell thy goods” He meant that we shouldn’t become attached to our possessions. But ‘the difference between us and the rich young man is that he was not allowed a solace of his regrets by saying: never mind what Jesus says, I can still hold on to my riches, but in a spirit of inner detachment. Despite my inadequacy I can take comfort in the thought that G_D has forgiven me my sins and I can have fellowship with Christ in faith.’
The rich young man was given no opportunity for excuse. No exit which he could keep his dignity, and pride. No option to compromise.
It is time that we stop padding the power and the demand of the call to discipleship. To put it in the simple yet highly demanding words of Bonhoeffer, “When Christ calls a man, He bids us to come and die”