Theme of the Week: Following Jesus
Bible Verse: “Then, passing by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me,” and he got up and followed him.” Mark 2:14 CSB
Scripture Reading: Mark 2:13-17
The philosopher René Descartes coined the phrase “I think, therefore I am.” If I realize I am thinking, I must exist. In our acquisitive society, we tend to say, “I possess, therefore I am.” Our lives and possessions are so intertwined that what we have may define who we are.
In the end, the rich young ruler, who came to Jesus, could not part with his possessions in order to respond to Jesus’ call to follow him. The possessions prevented his discipleship. The lure of what he possessed kept him from what he could become. So he went away, grieving. Perhaps he had a vision of a greater life as a disciple. But he was never to know what was possible. His personal wealth choked his opportunity for discipleship.
Hans Küng reminds us that being a disciple of Jesus is special in many ways. A special mission claims our whole lives and gives focus to all we think, say, and do. Discipleship opens up a destiny we could never know otherwise. It holds an assurance of Christ’s presence with us that is a promise that can be trusted. Discipleship is a special opportunity that holds open for us the best life possible—not a life that makes us rich and famous, but a life that is eternal—the true life in God we were created to live and enjoy.
Reflection: Only Jesus Christ, who bids us follow him, knows the journey’s end. But we know that it will be a road of boundless mercy. Discipleship means joy. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer1
Action Step: List ways in which your following Jesus brings you joy. Think of times when Christ’s mercy has brought you joy.
Taken from Living into Lent, Donald McKim, ©2013 Witherspoon Press. Used by Permission of Westminster John Knox Press.
1 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, trans. R. H. Fuller (New York: Macmillan, 1966), p. 41.
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