You find yourself on the phone with Comcast…again. For what seems like the 1,000th time the internet is acting up. You’ve tried all the tricks to get the internet to function properly again; restarted the router, disconnected all the devices from the internet that you currently aren’t using, maybe even moving the router closer to you. To make matters worse, the TV package you have bundled with your internet is also messed up. Only half your channels are showing up and of course it’s the half that you don’t watch. In the midst of all this frustration, the worker on the other line is trying to get you to walk through all the same steps you have already preformed yourself.
At the peak of your dissatisfaction you begin to demand compensation for the trouble you are experiencing. You pay good money for a TV and internet package that works. Actually, come to think of it, you pay too much for the internet and TV package. You want out of the deal that you were very happy to sign up for just last summer. The contract agreement says you have to keep paying for your package at the given rate until next June, but you intend to get Comcast to lower its cost, or let you go all together. This is the last time you are calling the provider for help. This is the last time you are restarting your router. This is the last time you will endure yet another difficulty from Comcast.
Often times, we look at our relationship with Jesus like we do the Comcast bill. We are perfectly happy to use Comcast’s service as long as it works how we like it, but once it doesn’t fit our needs anymore we are quick to move on to something else. Similarly, at times we treat Jesus like that. As long as life is going according to plan (our plan) then we will happily serve Jesus. We will read our Bible, go to church, we may even contribute monetarily to the church or missions giving. We expect that serving God should equal a good life.
However, life doesn’t always work out like we would like it. We don’t get the dream job we were interviewing for. The person of our dreams turns out to not be so dreamy. A loved one passes away that we were sure Jesus was going to heal. How could Jesus allow this to happen? I did everything that I was supposed to, why aren’t things working out for me? Situations like this cause many to walk away from Jesus everyday. He didn’t meet the expectations that we had for Him. We want to drop Jesus like a Comcast bill that is too expensive or too inconvenient for us.
But to serve Jesus only when it benefits us is not serving Jesus at all, it is using Him. Jesus is not a magic talisman or a lucky charm we hold on to so we can get some good luck. He isn’t a Comic Bellboy who is here to cater to our every desire. The whole reason one can call up Comcast and demand their way is because they believe that they have control of the situation. However, we don’t have that kind of leverage with Jesus. Christianity isn’t about serving a God that will make our life better. Christian living is about recognizing that the Kingdom of God has come into our world, and Jesus, the true King, has come to have our allegiance.
God owes us nothing. Yet despite owing us nothing, He gave us everything in Jesus. And though we may be willing to throw God away like an annoying Comcast bill, God was unwilling to throw us away like one.
This invitation was open to everyone. However, this call to follow Jesus was not without demands or expectations. Jesus told His followers that one should count the cost of following Him:
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” – Luke 14:25-33
Right from the get go, Jesus lets it be known that a life following Him wouldn’t be easy. In fact, later in the book of Luke he causes the rich young ruler to turn away because what Jesus asked of him was too high of a price (Luke 18:18-30). A life lived for God will demand that we be ready to give up anything and everything for His Kingdom; but it is worth it!
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” – Luke 18:29-30
The question now is this: Will you treat Jesus like a Comcast bill and throw Him away when you’re finished with Him, or will you choose to follow the King to see His Kingdom come?