The Cost of Discipleship Part II – Day 81
Discipleship means a break from every earthly attachment so that we may be completely bound to Christ. It is not that family, money, possessions, careers and vision are bad in and of themselves. But they do have an extraordinarily controlling influence that keeps us from following Christ with all our hearts. When I was saved Jesus took everything—some things he gave back (sanctified and whole), other things he completely got rid of. What matters the most is that he is Lord and that there are no idols restricting his lordship.
Jesus calls us to become like a seed because he became like a seed. As the source of everything he humbled himself and became a seed—a seed growing in the womb of a virgin. He became a root growing out of dry ground (Isa. 53:1-3). “The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed” because Jesus is like a mustard seed (Matt. 13:31). After he grew and blossomed on earth he went down into death. And not just any death, but death on a cross! The grain of wheat fell to the ground and died. And because it died it bore much fruit (John 14:24). Why did God create the seed? Because it speaks of himself and his vulnerable humility.
There is nothing strange about God becoming a child. Yes, it is amazing and wonderful, but it is not inconsistent with his nature. It is only hard to comprehend when we have a wrong concept of God, when we think God is like an old man in the sky with a big long beard. Even though God is from everlasting, there is nothing “old” about him. Age cannot affect him. It does not cause him to get wrinkles and go grey. God himself is eternally young and by nature he is like a child. He surely is not cynical, lacking energy and disengaged––the product that sometimes age brings about. He is a constant renewal—every “day” he is full of boundless energy and joy. Like a child he loves repetition—he cannot get bored. He is pure in heart and innocent of evil. The corruption of age has not crept into his “bones.” He is new every morning.
God is not a control freak. He is not afraid to become like a child because by nature he is child-like. He has no problem with learning and being led. He is not afraid of being lowly and humiliated. Because God is more than one––a tri-unity––he can be at the same time limitless and limited; he can be lowly while still lofty. In Jesus we actually see the fullness of God. There is nothing contradictory about being weak and strong at the same time. In Jesus God is weak, but that weakness is his strength.
Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes a humble place—becoming like a child—is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me” (Matt. 18:2-5, TNIV).
Prayer: Father, may I become like your Son Jesus. Make me into a seed that is willing to be humble, lowly and inconspicious. May I be willing to leave all to follow you and be your disciples.