Fake or the Real Deal? (Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus)
When I was a teenager, there was one jacket that everyone had to have, including me!… a Members Only jacket. It was the “in” jacket for a couple of years in the 80’s. It was a little pricey too, so I remember mom trying to talk me into a “knock-off” version of that jacket to save a few dollars (and I would have done the same thing as a parent); but I wasn’t interested in a fake jacket. Only an authentic Members Only would do for me. Sometimes only the real deal will do!
Jesus didn’t care anything about owning an authentic Members Only jacket; but having authentic followers was a must for Jesus. He was not interested in fake, false, inauthentic followers. As Jesus concludes His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:21-27), He brings us to a place that demands a response… to obey or not to obey? That is the question! There is no doubt at this point in His teaching that Jesus is looking for unconditional commitment from His followers. Casual commitment is simply not enough for Him.
Have you ever been casually committed to anything in life? How did that work out for you? Probably not very good. Casual commitment doesn’t work in lots of areas of life… on the job, with the team or in a marriage. There are lots of areas in life where a casual commitment is simply not enough; so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us that Jesus is looking for far more than a casual commitment from us as His disciples. He wants an all-in, no holds barred, full-on commitment; a commitment expressed by complete obedience to Him in every way! He’s looking for real, true, authentic disciples, not fake, false, inauthentic followers.
So as He finishes up HIs Sermon, Jesus leaves no doubt about the supreme level of commitment He’s looking for from His followers. And to make His point, He warns us about two unacceptable expressions of commitment and then vividly illustrates what authentic commitment to Him really looks like.
For much more, click here to listen to: Sermon on the Mount - Part 14 - Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus.