No You Can’t, Uh Uh, No Way!

FollowJesus

So there was Jesus making His way along the road. And there was the usual crowd, pressing, squabbling, gawking, chattering.  Seems a familiar scenario – Jesus and crowds go together, right?  No, not this day.  This day Jesus turns, faces the crowd and presents them with something they didn’t come for.

“You can’t follow Me” He tells them.

“He’s joking, right?  Here we are, right here, Jesus, right behind You.  You can plainly see we’re following You.”

“No, you can’t follow Me” He repeats.

Not “you should go home now and come back tomorrow”; not “I need some quiet time”; but simply “You are unable to follow Me!  To be frank you don’t have what it takes.”

Well, we know that Jesus was good at drawing crowds but we don’t always realize how good He was at dispersing them. This day He’s sure to do just that.  He continues, seemingly determined to spoil their party.

You want to follow Me?  Well there are conditions.  Let me clarify. First you need to hate your family.”

“What did You say?  Have you been affected by the sun? We thought You were all about love.  What do You mean You want us to hate our families?

“Not only that, you need to hate your own lives.” 

“Huh?  There You go with that ‘hate’ talk again.  How can we hate our own lives?”

“And you can only come after Me carrying a Cross.”

“Did You say a cross?  You mean a Roman cross, those barbaric instruments of execution?  You want us to carry one?   Jesus, You’re not making sense here.  We came to join the Kingdom You’ve been talking about. Those Romans will be history, won’t they?”

“To follow Me You must utterly abandon all that you’ve accumulated, all your expectations of a normal life, all your plans and all your entitlements.”

“Come on Jesus, what are You getting so intense about?  We‘re Your support crowd; we’re Your fan base.  Are you hearing us Jesus? This is heavy stuff You’re throwing at us.  How about some healings or demon thrashing instead?   You know we love You Jesus, but chill out a bit OK?”

“Would you begin a building project without first calculating if you had enough money?  I’ve told you the price of following Me. Do you really think you can afford Me?

Or would a king with limited resources contend with a far greater king, without considering first what he may lose? I’ve told you what I expect from you.  These are my terms of your surrender to My Kingship.  Do you still want to follow Me?”

(Luke 14:25-33, paraphrased by me).

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We can rationalise the cost of following Jesus as much as we like.  We can renovate the gospel by dumbing down His conditions of discipleship till it tickles our ears just nicely.  Over two thousand years of institutionalized Christianity we’ve done just that.  The loudest gospel being preached today is not the real deal.   It depicts the Cross as a church ornament celebrating a vague, historical event and remains silent on radical commitment to the Crucified One.  It courts the fickle, money wielding crowd and spurns the few who hunger and thirst for righteousness.  It mass produces believers but is barren of disciples.

But the truth is unless we believe Jesus means what He says and says what He means, our discipleship is a sham.  We can’t follow Him, no we can’t, end of story.

The truth is that true discipleship is costly, the Cross is a place devoid of compromise, and Christ demands all of our life in exchange for all of His.   The truth is when our hearts burn with love for Christ, others we love may feel hated in comparison and they’re not going to be happy about it.

The truth is when we truly follow Christ it’s not business as usual and anything can happen.  

The truth is some days He’ll lead us to the mountaintop, other days He’ll lead us to Calvary.

The truth is there is a difference between believers and disciples:  believers merely agree, disciples follow.   The truth is it’s those who know they can’t follow who are enabled by Him to follow.

The truth is the Bride follows the Lamb wherever He goes.    The truth is the Bride is not a crowd, she is a remnant.

And the truth is, Lord, we don’t know what it will cost us to follow You unconditionally wherever You go, but this we do know and believe: You are more than worthy of whatever the cost.   Selah!

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2014 and beyond/   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.



Categories: Life in Christ, The Bride of Christ, The Cross, The Kingdom, Words of Grace and Truth

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19 replies

  1. Shalom Sister Cheryl … please forgive my not reaching out to you much sooner .. my bride and I were led to Great Southland Ministries appox 4 years ago and your surrendered spirit has been a continual refreshing as the Spirit has spoken in you and through you. Though we have not met personally “deep cries out to deep” … We reside Arizona and have had your obedient prophetic voice echo confirmation upon confirmation . Here in America, 99.9% of the “churches” (denomination notwithstanding) have willingly subjugated themselves to the Satanic bondage of the Internal Revenue Service’s 501(c)3 …. this demonic tactic, under the guise of “tax exempt benefits, grant etc (read; bribes) is now beginning to show it’s true nature; e.g. forcing Pastors to officiate gay marriages or face the loss of their tax exempt status…. the church has surrendered itself to a Godless head and do not even realize , Isaiah 6: 9-10 comes to mind. We have stepped out in the Spirit into our River Jordan … we have begun Desert Reign Worship Center here in Phoenix desiring to continue to be trained as Disciples bringing Father’s instruction to believers in activating the the indwelling Holy Spirit within the believer by way of infilling Eph 5:17. We profess continued supernatural blessings, favor, abundance, strength, protection and guidance upon you, your family and ALL that your had is put to! We very much look forward to meeting with you some day soon face to face …. Shalom & Favor Vince & Mary Anne

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    • Hello Vince and Marry Anne,
      I am continually amazed and humbled to hear from people such as yourselves, so far and wide, and to know that the Holy Spirit is bonding us all together by the sweetness of His Breath right across this world. I am also continually amazed to learn people are reading the posts I share in such diverse places and being ministered to by them. Thankyou for taking time to write and share from your vantage point in the Kingdom. More and more are being called out of ‘churchianity’ and into the wilderness with Jesus. A reformation is taking place. Here in Australia we are facing many changes politically and socially also. Following Christ in these days is not for the feint of heart, but He who has begun a good work in us will perfect and complete it. I also hope we can meet some day soon, if the Lord is willing!
      God’s richest blessings on you and your work in the Kingdom,
      CM

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      • Amen & Amen …. a reformation unlike ever experienced previous … Adonai eyes roam the earth seeking stewards of His Truth …. radical , fearless and surrendered warriors to His Spirit to the exclusive glory of Yeshua …. May the bride burn with the insatiable desire to be the cup that satisfies Father ….

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  2. Say What Jesus??? lol… “Who is this coming up from the desert, leaning on her lover?…Place me like a seal over your heart, or like a seal on your arm. For love is a strong as death, and jealousy is as enduring as the grave.” (Song of Solomon 7:1-6)… I’m starting to understand… following Him turned into fellowship with Him, then became falling in love with Him… now, at this point, “where He goes, I follow”. It’s not my head that propels me, but His heart that has captured me! BLESSED BE HIS NAME!!!

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  3. Amen! Thank you for this post…It is what is throbbing in my chest. I keep hearing The Lord ask, “Will you follow me, no matter the cost?”. My answer is YES, and I ask The Lord daily to give me strength and faithfulness to Him. Blessings to you as you journey with Jesus and serve Him.

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  4. Poignant, powerful truth! Thank you, my sister!

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  5. Reblogged this on Another Red Letter Day and commented:
    Cheryl offers a great look at the cost of discipleship.

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  6. Cheryl,

    A+ so well said! I am reading Bonhoeffer right now and I am so with you on this idea today.

    “The truth is there is a difference between believers and disciples: believers merely agree, disciples follow.” AMEN. I will be quoting you on this – probably for the rest of my life. That will preach!!.

    Thanks much dear one. Blessings as you follow with that remnant.

    Ben

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  7. Cheryl, thanks for putting the cost of following Jesus (among other things) so graphically, beautifully, profoundly, disturbingly and challengingly. You are a blessing and a stimulation to your many readers.

    Greetings!

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