“Indeed, the cost of nondiscipleship is great. The cost of believers not taking Jesus seriously is vast for those who don’t know Christ and devastating for those who are starving and suffering around the world. But the cost of nondiscipleship is not paid solely by them. It is paid by us as well.”
A Call to Treasure
Did you catch what Jesus said when he told the rich man to abandon his possessions and give to the poor? Listen again, particularly to the second half of Jesus’ invitation: “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.”
If we are not careful, we can misconstrue these radical statements from Jesus in the Gospels and begin to think that he does not want the best for us. But he does. Jesus was not trying to strip this man of all his pleasure. Instead he was offering him the satisfaction of eternal treasure. Jesus was saying, “It will be better, not just for the poor, but for you too, when you abandon the stuff you are holding on to.”
We see the same thing over in Matthew 13. There Jesus tells his disciples, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
I love this picture. Imagine walking in a field and stumbling upon a treasure that is more valuable than anything else you could work for or find in this life. It is more valuable than all you have now or will ever have in the future. You look around and notice that no one else realizes the treasure is here, so you cover it up quickly and walk away, pretending you haven’t seen anything.
You go into town and begin to sell off all your possessions to have enough money to buy that field. The world thinks you’re crazy. “What are you thinking?” your friends and family ask you. You tell them, “I’m buying that field over there.” They look at you in disbelief. “That’s a ridiculous investment,” they say. “Why are you giving away everything you have?”
You respond, “I have a hunch,” and you smile to yourself as you walk away. You smile because you know. You know that in the end you are not really giving away anything at all. Instead you are gaining.
Yes, you are abandoning everything you have, but you are also gaining more than you could have in any other way. So with joy—with joy!—you sell it all, you abandon it all. Why? Because you have found something worth losing everything else for.
This is the picture of Jesus in the gospel. He is something—someone—worth losing everything for. And if we walk away from the Jesus of the gospel, we walk away from eternal riches. The cost of nondiscipleship is profoundly greater for us than the cost of discipleship. For when we abandon the trinkets of this world and respond to the radical invitation of Jesus, we discover the infinite treasure of knowing and experiencing him.”
From Radical by David Platt
“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'” Luke 9:23
To take up my cross
And count it all as lost
All for the sake
Of knowing You
To love my enemies
And care for those in need
Show me what it means
To follow You
“Show Me What It Means,” by Meredith Andrews – The Invitation