I Have Come That They May Have LIFE!
It simply must be said that many people who claim to be “Christians” today do not understand what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Either they believe in Jesus because they want Him to take away all their problems, or they see Him as a “ticket to paradise” when they leave this world. In the meantime, they go their own way and do their own thing, pulling out their lucky rabbit’s foot whenever they think they need God to intervene. Like those without any knowledge of God, these have their minds set on themselves and whatever affects them, thinking little about the kingdom of God or their responsibility to anyone other than perhaps their family or a few others. How unlike those who are true disciples of Jesus! In our text today Jesus exposes the sinful desire of the sinful nature for privilege, for an “easy” life filled with one blessing after another, a life free from trouble, from trials and suffering. Jesus never presented following Him as an easy road. In fact, it seemed at times that He was discouraging people from following Him by telling them to “count the cost.” Jesus was honest in describing His own ministry and calling others to do the same. Jesus told His disciples that He came not to BE served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. It was this call to servanthood that prepared the disciples to go out into all the world to proclaim the Gospel and to live as light in the darkness. As we teach our children and young people, we must be committed to helping them make the right life choices. Too many want their children to be “successful” by the standards of the world, like the mother of James and John. Young people are taught a formula for success that does not take into account the LIFE Jesus came to give His sheep. Living out this LIFE “abundantly” requires obedience to Jesus’ command, not only to be willing to serve, but to LIVE to serve!! It is in serving that the joy of being a disciple of Jesus will be found!