Well it happened. The United States completed yet another transfer of power and not has a new presidential administration. There was and is a lot of fear, anger, relief, joy, and sorrow in the nation today. There will be hot takes and retrospectives galore about this season in the life of our Republic.
To be honest, I am exhausted by it all. I am tired of the seething anger, worn out by the vicious name-calling, and fed up by the myriad upon myriad of lies and distortions. I truly hope and pray that the next four years will be boring in terms of politics.
That said, I want to focus my attention to my real passion–helping disciples of Jesus become disciple-makers for Jesus. You see, no matter who is president, Jesus is still King, and it is to Him alone that we owe ultimate allegiance–not to any politician, not to any flag, and not to any republic for which said flag stands. Jesus alone. Got it?
Because being a disciple of Jesus requires such a firm commitment and absolute allegiance, Jesus calls on us to count the cost before we decide to follow Him.
Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.Luke 14:25-33 English Standard Version
What will it cost you to follow Jesus? Living in the United States which is still the land of the free and the home of the brave, it is unlikely to cost you your life. Maybe some day that will change, but that is not today. However, there are other costs to following Jesus.
Becoming a disciple of His may cost you your career–not in the sense that you will be fired (though it could happen) but rather Jesus Himself may call you to leave your career for another field altogether.
Becoming a disciple of Jesus may cost you relationships. There may be people who choose not to follow along on your journey with Jesus. They may resent or even despise your choosing of Him over them.
Becoming a disciple of Jesus may cost you your political ideology. Yes, when you follow Jesus as King you realize that everything else falls woefully short of His standard. Neither political party measures up, and both are full of sinful, human corruption. Also, Jesus’ commands to love one’s neighbor ought to cause us to constantly evaluate the policies we support and the beliefs we hold dear. If nothing else, King Jesus changes the way we relate to our political “opponents.”
These are just a few of the ways that following Jesus costs us something. However, no matter the cost, King Jesus is far more precious than anyone and anything else. His Kingdom is far superior to anything humans could ever come up with. That is why, as tired as I am with the cultural and political landscape in the United States, I still have joy because Jesus is still King!