by Tim LaFleur
If you are a Christ follower, and have followed Jesus for any length of time, you know that it is difficult to pursue Him with single-minded, wholehearted devotion. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke these words, “Enter by the narrow gate…for the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13a, 14).
On many occasions, Jesus told His disciples that following Him would be hard, lonely, and costly. On one such occasion, Luke records Jesus accompanied by great crowds. One can only imagine why they were following. Some, no doubt, were following because they heard about the miracles Jesus performed and they wanted to see Him “work His magic.” Others may have heard about the fish and the loaves, and wanted to get in on a free meal. Still others were wondering if this Revolutionary would be the one who would lead the Jewish people to overthrow their Roman oppressors.
Whatever the reason, the Lord Jesus was not impressed with the multitudes. In fact, He is still not impressed by them today! He is not impressed with curious crowds who follow Him with a “what’s in it for me” attitude. He is not looking for fickle fans that admire Him from a distance; He’s seeking faithful followers who pursue Him with single-minded, wholehearted devotion.
So in order to make that clear to the multitudes that were following Him, Jesus turned and declared some of the most difficult demands in all of the New Testament. Three times He speaks these words: “cannot be my disciples.” In this text, Jesus not only challenges us to count the cost of following Him, but He also gives insight as to why it is so hard to really pursue and follow after Him.
Why is it so difficult to follow Jesus? He identifies three areas:
Each week, I will share another barrier to being a disciple in the Hard to Follow series.
Tim is the DiscipleMaking Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church. In addition to investing in men personally, Tim equips and trains disciples to make disciples. You can follow him on Twitter @Tim_Lafleur.
What are some other barriers that hinder our relationship with Christ?
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