Chickens, cows and discipleship
2 Corinthians 5: 20-21; 6: 4-10 (NIVUK)
(5) 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
(6) 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonour, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
Perhaps you've heard the story of the chicken who proposed to the cow that they make the farmer breakfast. The cow cheerfully responded: "I'm in! What will we give him?" The chicken replied, "I'll supply the eggs, and you supply the meat.” The cow sadly replied to the chicken, "For you that's devotion, but for me it means total sacrifice." And she walked away.
There were occasions in the Gospels when potential disciples walked away when confronted with the full measure of what discipleship might entail. As Jesus “set his face towards Jerusalem”, his time now short, he desired staying power and total commitment from those who would follow.
There is a cost in discipleship. “No pain, no gain”, as the popular phrase goes. Jesus makes it very clear that being His disciple will cost you — you! And, it will cost every part of you.
Paul, in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, does not hold back in listing the hardships he himself faced. To us, these were distant times and a different age, but the principle still holds true. Seeing the world through the eyes of Christ, who gave his all on the Cross for our salvation, will sometimes involve being misunderstood, challenged, even persecuted. Jesus still desires staying power and total commitment from those who would follow, if we are truly to be ambassadors for him.
Lord God, by your grace in Jesus Christ, our salvation is free. A life devoted and surrendered to you is the least I can offer in appreciation for what you have done for me. Teach me how to be like Jesus, to give my life in service as an offering of true and proper worship of you. By your grace and for your glory, help me to reach out and share the Good News, so that those who hear may respond with glad and thankful hearts. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Lent Legacy 2021 Action
Consider — Who is it that God wants you to see with new eyes?