Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Following Jesus (1)

"Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth. 'Follow me and be my disciple,' Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him" (Mark 2:13-14).
When he offered the invitation to follow and be a disciple, Jesus wasn't looking for people who just wanted him to tinker with their lives or just be forgiven of sins, so they could go to heaven. Jesus wanted followers, who were willing to become like Jesus. They would let Jesus change everything: actions, activities, attitudes, priorities, dreams, habits, focus--everything!

And the deal is, Jesus has not down-sized the initial invite. There's no such thing as "Jesus-LITE", where he gives friendship and forgiveness to all of those who choose to be followers. Instead, the total package of Jesus-Life includes friendship and forgiveness, as well as an entirely new identity plus a radically different, Spirit-empowered way to live. His one and only, total package offer still stands. "Follow me and be my disciple"--Jesus.

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