The Paradox and Challenges of Being a Christ Follower

The restless agitation on one hand and the extreme boredom on the other in people today are symptoms of a deep longing and hunger of something beyond material goods and possessions, an emptiness that cannot be filled with fleeting and temporary relationships. Poeple today engage in a flurry of activities and indulge in so many addictions in a vain attempt to fill in this emptiness and satisfy this longing.

No one who has seriously tried to listen to the words of Christ has come away uninspired or unmoved. Many have had their lives changed. And there are the courageous few who have gone on to change for the better not only themselves but also the world they lived in. His words calms down the tempest in people’s souls. His love is the one relationship that can fill in the emptiness inside. But not everyone stays because He turns the lives of those who would follow Him upside down.

He has but one commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Easy, one might say; specially if one thinks of a romantic falling in love. But no, he say to love your enemies and do good to those who hate you. And if and when needed, give up your life for love of others. Huh? This is not easy.

In world mad for power and glory, everyone wants to be the Lion and many act like wolves. He tells His followers that they are lambs. And on many occasions in history, His followers have indeed been led to the slaughter like lambs – even in this day and age. He said to serve others. But to do this in one’s poverty not out of one’s fullness. In fact, he challenges those who would follow him to give away everything they have.

He is speaking figuratively, right? Like a figure of speech? Metaphorically? I don’t think so. Because He did die on the cross for His friends, me included. He came not in power and might but in the poverty and simplicity of the manger. He did not surround himself with generals nor geniuses. He picked the poor and the simple folks to proclaim His Kingdom. He would some day be adored and revered with much pomp and glory. But during His time one earth, He did not even have a place of his own where to lay his head.

Still, the world as we know it today would not be what it is but for the love of the Christ.

He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!”
Luke 10:1-12

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