The Cost of Love

“Going a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending nets. Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.” Mark 1:19,20

If we accept the invitation of Jesus to journey with Him, it will cost other people more than it costs us; and that is the point of indecision. If we are captivated by the love of Jesus, leaving everything and following Him is freedom and an exciting anticipation of going with Him into the Wild. We do not feel it cost us anything. But if we go, it will cost others dearly.

The invitation “follow Me” is rarely seen as a call to leave something terrible for something better. It is often a call to leave something safe for something dangerous; to leave something known for the unknowable; to leave something which makes sense for something that seems foolish. It is a call to courage. It is the Wild One asking you to join His band of misfits and sinners.

If we follow this wild Son of Man it will mean that other people’s plans will be upset. Some may even cast dispersions on your decision to go and do. We can prevent the disruption; but if we are going to follow Him with our whole heart, we must not do so, we need to let it be.

“He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.'”Genesis 22:2

The hesitation we may feel is often a result of the pride of reputation and the great weight we place on the thoughts of others toward us which digs in like an anchor, slowing our movements. We do not wish to be viewed in any negative light or have “good people” think us foolish or wrong. We do not wish, either, for others to suffer because of us, but our journey with Jesus grinds to a halt when we decide to bear the weight of the cost ourselves. We cannot.

We are such an integral part of the story God is telling that the moment we obey His call, other people’s lives are disrupted. Our pride discourages us from accepting this consequence, but we must accept the humiliation of walking the dusty road with the Man of Sorrows. We must forget what is behind and press forward into the unknown, as we allow the Joy of Him who Loves Us to fill our hearts and minds. Walking like children into the exciting unknown, where anything is possible and magic becomes ordinary.

If we choose to go the way which causes the least amount of pain to others, we will be immediately relieved like the Prodigal with his pocketful of inheritance. But if we follow our heart into the road less travelled and accept the invitation of our Lover, He will supply the needs of those who have been conscripted into the consequences of our choice.

“So Peter, seeing the disciple whom Jesus loved, said to Jesus, ‘What about this man?’ Jesus said to Peter, ‘…what is that to you? You follow Me!'”John 21:21,22

Jesus does not ask anything of us which He has not first done Himself. His obedience to the call of God brought much suffering to other people. He leads us by going first, guiding us toward the only thing that matters. The heart of Abba Father. His eyes were so fixed on His relationship with Abba, that nothing mattered as much as Him. He completely trusted the Father to take care of those whose lives were intimately affected by His obedience.

Be careful you do not come to Jesus with a list of conditions for the adventure He calls you to. He knows the way He is going, so abide in Him and the story He is telling for you. He cares for others just as He cares for you, and will arrange things in His way in His time.

“But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said the the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.”John 19:25-27

Photo by Andrew Neel on

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