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There are three amazing things in this observation ^ here: One, our culture doesn’t have “discipleship”, but if you’ve ever watched a kung fu movie, like Ip Man, you know usually it’s the students who have to beg a Master to train him, not the other way around… So it was “different” of Jesus to go around saying to particular people “follow me.” And that by itself is worth sitting around and thinking about… But (two) what’s even more amazing is some people said “no.” Not that they didn’t WANT to go, they did, they really did, but they had other things to take care of… “let me go bury my parents” was a way of saying “let me be a good son until they die, then I can do whatever you want Jesus.” Faced with the option of going deeper, of finally getting a handle on life, and love and sin and redemption – he had to go do the laundry instead. Because Jesus was so humble and easy going, it was easy for them to undervalue His offer…
We think the greatest moments in life happen when we’re all dressed up for graduation, or a promotion, or a wedding – someplace where there’s an orchestra or a red carpet – because those things signal stuff that really matters… But God chooses to use simple humble moments to change the world.
If we were to walk into the church C.S. Lewis attended, or Jonathan Edwards taught in, or John Newton or Martin Luther – if we could time travel and experience it first hand…we might be struck with the thought “this is it? I was expecting something more momentous.” It’s like that with most of history… The founding fathers of American democracy had strong mixed feelings about the painting that remembers the signing of the “Declaration.” It wasn’t like that…exactly.
In the same way, it’s easy for us to miss the still small voice that God chooses to speak with. It’s too humble, too simple, and so easy to ignore.
But THREE, the third amazing thing in this simple observation (see title of this post) is that Jesus just let them walk away. He didn’t use any Jedi mind tricks to compel people to follow… But his love was self differentiated enough to let people make their own choices. And in doing so to sin, to disrespect Him, to despise His offer, to ignore His commands (to repentance, church and evangelism)… Until we’re ready to come back. What amazing kindness! What awesome restraint! What generosity and patience!