And when they [Peter, James and John] had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him. —Luke 5:11 (emphasis added)
A friend and I were talking the other day about disastrous, life-altering circumstances–and what we would do. She knows some families in California right now who have had to evacuate their town because of all the snow melt. You see, it was so much that they are worried that the dam above them will be breached and the entire valley flooded. Officials are evacuating the entire valley.
So, these people literally had two changes of clothes and maybe their important papers. And they may lose everything. Books. Photographs. Handwritten notes. Pictures drawn by children and grandchildren. Not to mention the practicals of everyday life: kitchen appliances, dishes and pots and pans, beds and sheets.
How can you leave all of that?
And I guess the answer is when the alternative far outweighs the “stuff.” In this family’s case, it is literally their lives that are on the line.
And in the case of the apostles, it was because of Jesus, unknown and strange to the Jewish world, untested and unsanctioned by the “official” Pharisees, yet somehow speaking with authority. (We know it was God’s authority because hindsight is 20/20.) The apostles realized that Jesus was worth leaving everything behind. I’m sure they had belongings–for starters, a boat and fishing supplies for their living!
And yet, they recognized that Jesus was more.
He was more than their stuff. More than their livelihood. More than their families or friends or communities. And he was so incredibly worth leaving all of it behind.
And I sometimes wonder, in my comfortable, first world abundance and embarrassment of blessings life – would I do the same? Could I do the same?
What am I giving up for Christ right now? What are you giving up for Christ?
Because, you see, friend, he is so worth it.
“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ…”
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