This week we’re going to consider the idea of “going all in” for Christ and what that might look like for us. We’ll come at it from a few different angles—some small, some big—read some scripture, and try to think about it practically and sustainable.
Today’s Bible Reading
“Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.””
More Thoughts For Meditation
In today’s scripture reading we find a difficult teaching from Jesus. These are hard words. It’s almost impossible to imagine asking someone to skip the funeral of a loved one to follow you. But here it seems we have Jesus saying that very thing.
Jesus’s particular choice of words in this passage are often debated and their is a larger context going on, but we’re not looking to solve all that today. The big idea seems to involve “going all in”.
“Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their dead.” Not much wiggle room there. He might be saying something like: “This is really important. You should drop everything you’re doing and follow me. Everything. Trust me, it will be worth it.”
Earlier in the Gospel of Matthew (chapter 4:21-22) we find a similar scene. Jesus encounters 2 of his soon-to-be disciples James and John who are with their father repairing their fishing nets. This would’ve been important work for them, their livelihood depended on those nets. The passage says that Jesus called them and they “immediately left their boat and their father and followed him.” They left their boat AND their father. What a great detail to include. Can you imagine doing that? Here again we come to this idea of going all in. Credit to James and John for hearing the call. It makes you wonder how many others Jesus called who didn’t respond like James and John.
These are drastic examples. Some of us have left everything to follow Jesus (and what a blessing you are!), but that’s not everyone’s story. Does going all in always involve some drastic moment of wild abandon? No, not always, but maybe it involves a thousand little drastic moments that add up to a transformed life. That seems to be the expectation, that if you start to follow Jesus, if you leave the dead to bury their dead, or you leave your boat and your father, you’ll never be the same. “Trust me, it will be worth it.”
Suggestions For Action
What comes to mind when you hear the words “Going all in for Christ”? Are you excited? Are you anxious? Are you refreshed? Are you rolling your eyes? Spend some time today thinking about what you think it means to be “all in” for something. Maybe a friend or relative or Saint comes to mind. Is there anything in your life you’d say you’re all in for? What is it? Why would you say you’re all in for it? What does a life that is “all in” for something look like?