To follow or not to follow Jesus

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”   – Jesus, Matthew 16:24

Most of us remember few if any lines from the Shakespearean plays we studied in English Lit. If there is a line we can quote, however, it’s probably where Hamlet asked, “To be or not to be, that is the question.”

Borrowing this line provides an appropriate introduction for what follows.  Hamlet was struggling with the question of whether it was better to be alive or dead.  Likewise, the decision to follow Jesus boils down to whether we want to experience the pleasures of a worldly life now or surrender to Christ and die to self to receive eternal life.

Jesus did not short-change what is involved in following him. Luke records Jesus’s example of a builder’s need to “count the cost” before starting a construction project (Lukw 14).  Neither did he mince words about the hardship we will experience in being his disciple.  Allegiance to Jesus over family, putting aside distractions such as property and possessions, and anything else that hinders devotion to him are non-negotiable requirements.  He never manipulated or pressured anyone, but neither did Jesus have a hidden agenda.

“Six Weeks” is Timothy Network’s short-course for introducing people to the BIG PICTURE story of the Bible and Jesus. You’ll be looking at how the Bible identifies Jesus (Who he is), how he interacted with sinners, and what it means it means to follow him.  It’s a phase of investigation, one that will give you a taste of the discipling process we follow.  Following “Six Weeks,” you’ll decide whether to continue to next phase of participation with us – a commitment of about 18 months.  We hope these introductory studies and conversations have stirred your desire to know more and that you’ll join us in the journey of following Jesus.

Mike Stroud
The Timothy Network

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