Friday, June 22, 2007

The Worth of Christ : better than all you can have

This was going to be part of a preach next Sunday. I think it'll have to stay in the study cos there's too much else to say in 20 minutes from Luke 9-10... I guess that's part of the discipline of preparation.

He's been calling people to follow him for sometime, and then someone agrees to come. What's the first thing you do? Logically, celebrate. But Jesus doesn't do that. He starts spouting small print. Advising that following Jesus is costly, leaving home and family behind. You have to ask, what's he doing?

But then you see? He's just set his face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9v51). Why? Not for tourism. He's going there to "be taken up". Which means to die, rise and then ascend to heaven. Going there will mean great sacrifice so it's not all that strange that those who follow him will also carry a cost.

There's something else too. Telling us about costs when he wants us to follow tells us about how good it is to follow. Following Jesus outweighs the cost of following. And Jesus is telling us that he's better than any of the stuff you could have in life.

Does that mean having a home and family is bad? No. Physical stuff is good - it's made by God and given by him. But Jesus does want us to see that the best thing we can gain is not a house, car and family - it's Jesus himself.

Two ways this works out :

1. Havinng Jesus we can begin to truly enjoy the good gifts God has given. How? By receiving them as gifts with thanksgiving. And to enjoy them by sharing with others. A home can be opened to others for hospitality and accomodation. A car can be used for others. And, how many lawnmowers does any church or community really need?

2. Having Jesus we can be free to lay down what God has given to us. To count any loss of possessions or family to be a gain since then we'll just have Jesus, who is better by far than all we could have.

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